The Cycles of School Change: Toward an Integrated Developmental Model


  • J. Jim Goddard University of Calgary
  • Veronca Bohac-Clarke University of Calgary



The extent to which schools adapt to their specific community contexts has been of interest to educators for some time. Researchers now recognize that "educational leadership is a socially bounded process ... subject to the cultural traditions and values of the society in which it is exercised" (Dimmock & Walker, 2005, p. 1). An understanding of the impact of this intersection of leadership and culture on educational change and reform processes has remained problematic. This paper presents an eight stage integrated model of school change, a model which suggests that the achievement of educational reforms is a two-cycle process. Drawing upon earlier models proposed by Hallinger and Leithwood (1996), Wilber (2000), and Dimmock and Walker (2002), we argue that many educational reforms will fail because schools rarely move from the four stages of cycle one to those of cycle two.