Types of Curriculum Change

When making the move to consider changes to a curriculum the people responsible must consider what kinds of change they are going to be making. The type of change that takes place is going to impact how stakeholders may react. Many types of change have a lot to do with the amount of power the different players involved have. Bennis in identified three types of change which are…

  1. Planned change
  2. Coercion
  3. Interaction change

Brief explanation of each is provided in this post

Planned Change. In this type of change, those who are involved have equal power. It is clear what everyone needs to do. This is the preferred type of change. People have a voice, they are in agreement, and everyone is moving together.

Coercion. This type of change has a serious imbalance of power. One group determines the goals and has the power. All other groups are excluded from the discussion and are expected to obey. This is, unfortunately, an extremely common type of change in education. Often governments or administrators will create a curriculum and simply dump it on the teachers. Without input, there is a high risk of failure because people need ownership in order to be motivated.

Interaction Change. This approach involves equal amounts of power among all those who have an interest. The problem is communication and execution. The process for implementation is not thought out and developed. This leads to people who are willing but unsure of what to do.

An experienced educator has probably seen these three common types of change. It is important for administrators and teachers to understand the dangers to change. Coercion is not going to work long-term. As soon as the force is removed so will the conformity of the teachers. Interaction is unsuccessful not because of a lack of willingness but because of lack of follow through.


To have success, change must include a commitment from the teachers as well as clear communication of expectations. By sharing power and provided clear direction can help in preventing these common roadblocks to change.

Leave a Reply