The Micropolitics of Resistance to Educational Change: A Case Study of Lebanese Private School – 14\05\2022
Online session presented by Mr. Rabih Murr– Academic Principal of Ahliya School in Lebanon.
This session is based on a case study and academic research for a master’s degree by Mr. Rabih El-Murr on the experience of a school principal in a private school in Lebanon (the Ahliya School in which he works). The session shed light on one of the organizational frames, which is the political frame, especially the micropolitical level, and the strategies and procedures that the school principal can follow under it to reduce resistance from members of the institution while leading the change process and taking the school towards renewal and continuous improvement while being respectful of the context and identity of the institution.
The session was attended by about 45 practitioners and educational researchers from TAMAM participating schools in different Arab countries, in addition to members of the advisory board of Al-Ahlia School, which is a TAMAM-friend school.
The session began by presenting the reality of ineffective educational reform in the Lebanese context, as well as the context of the case school. Then the international literature was explored to describe change as a complex process that is accompanied by many challenges, as it undermines the status quo and the identity of the institution. It is also accompanied by resistance to change, which is considered one of the most important challenges of change from the perspective or the political framework of the institution, especially from the micropolitical lens. The study considers the latter a promising lens for understanding change in the Lebanese context and deals with the concept of self-interest that may conflict with the interest of the institution, and the role of the educational leader in adopting strategies and political methods to reduce resistance to change and overcome obstacles towards achieving it. The study showed that prior to initiating change plans and actions, it is imperative for the school principal to have a good understanding of the school’s culture and identity and build an understanding of the culture’s reactions and attitude to change, coupled with building a thorough awareness of the school’s micropolitics – mainly power dynamics and personal interest versus the interest of the institution. Another key strategy that emerged from the study is the school leadership’s differentiated approach in managing groups of teachers, mainly those who were pro-change and those who were still resisting change especially during the first micropolitical landscape. The case study underscores the importance of achieving educational change through strategies that transform the school toward continuous self-renewal rooted in its unique identity by following a bottom-up approach to change. The session concluded with the model Mr. Rabih established to delineate a grounded process for initiating and effecting change in a context like that of the case study school. The model is based on a theory of educational change aimed at transforming the school into an institution continuously engaged in self-renewal that is rooted in its unique identity. The session then was followed with discussion of comments and questions from the attendees.
To view the session, click on the following link.
Here is the link for the Facebook Post.