Overcoming barriers to PLCs: Lack of understanding andor resistance to change
Hall & Hord (2015) share
their theory of deficiency of
widespread change throughout
the school/district being
contributed to lack of
understanding of what the change
is or what it will look like when it
is implemented in the envisioned
Resistance To Change
Hall & Hord (2015) recognize that change can be difficult to implement. In lieu of
this revelation they offer the following reasons as to why resistance to change happens
to help us better understand.
● There is a need to know whether the new change
would really be an improvement.
● Change is painful (nerve racking & uncomfortable).
Hall & Hord (2015) understand that there are many factors that influence the change process and offer the
following change principals to assist in a smoother change implementation process.
● Change is Learning - People need to be taught and coached on the new process.
● Change Is a Process, Not an Event - Change should occur in steps, rather than all at once.
● The School Is the Primary Organizational Unit for Change – Most of the time changes come from the
district and state levels, but the primary place of implementation will be the school.
● Organizations Adopt Change—Individuals Implement Change - Change cannot happen until it is
released into the hands of man.
Change Principles cont...
● Interventions Are Key to the Success of the Change Process - Interventions are events that occur or
things that happen. The success rate of the change process can be a success or failure depending upon the
nature of the intervention.
● Appropriate Interventions Reduce Resistance to Change.
● District- and School-Based Leadership Is Essential to Long-Term Change Success - Leadership is the
captains of the change ship. The longevity of change is contingent upon the modeling, mentorship,
support, and monitoring demonstrated by leadership.
● Facilitating Change Is a Team Effort - Change in organizations is a uniform event. The ideal end result
is that it be adopted by everyone. It takes a village to raise a child…and to implement change!
Change Principles cont…
● Mandates Can Work - Mandates, or any expectation for that matter, must be monitored in order to ensure
it gets done.
● Both Internal and External Factors Greatly Influence Implementation Success - Objective input,
community resources, outside agencies, etc. are all needed to increase success rates.
● Adopting, Implementing, and Sustaining Are Different Phases of the Change Process.
● Focus! Focus! Focus! - Know where you are going (desired end result), and give your attention to the
change process; never losing sight of your goal; assessing/evaluating your progress along the way.
According to Hall & Hord (2015)
communicating with external entities is an
important intervention that is often
neglected, but needs to be executed in
order to keep them informed and gain
Levels of Use
According to Hall & Hord (2015) concrete understanding of the constructs of
Levels of Use (LoU) makes it easy for facilitators to foresee what is likely to unfold as a
change initiative unfolds, and provide appropriate interventions that will be relevant and
helpful to those involved, or expected to be involved, in change.
● Level 0 – Nonuse - Knows nothing of the innovation/never heard of it.
● Level I – Orientation - Attends information sessions.
● Level II – Preparation - Has a plan and start date for when and how they will
Levels of Use cont...
● Level III – Mechanical - Uses the manual.
● Level IVA – Routine - Stuck in their ways/not changing/doesn’t want to buy-in.
● Level IVB – Refinement - Reflects and assesses their own performance and
makes changes accordingly.
● Level V – Integration - Collaborates with other users of the program and
● Level VI – Renewal - Looking to do major revisions of the innovation or find a
new innovation altogether.
Measuring Stages of Concern
Hall & Hord (2015) recommend conducting regular and ongoing assessment of the change process by
measuring the Stage of Concern (SoC) of all participants.
● The three ways to assess concerns are One-Legged interview (OLI), Open-Ended concerns statement
(oeSoC), and SoC questionnaire (SoCQ).
● OLIs - Brief conversations between a Change Facilitator and an implementer about the use of the
● oeSoCs - A systematic measure of concerns in which the implementers of the innovation are asked to write
a description of their concerns, which are then content analyzed – are able to assess the change process
through the candid, subjective and honest words of the implementers.
● SoCQs - The most rigorous technique for measuring concerns; a 35 item questionnaire that has strong
reliability estimates and internal consistency – are able to construct concerns profiles.
You may not necessarily be the one experiencing roadblocks to participation in PLCs. However, you may
have a colleague that you were prompted to reflect on as you read through the information in this roadblock
section of Lack of Understanding and/or Resistance to Change. Regardless of who this roadblock pertains to
you should now be able to:
● Recognize the characteristics of a lack of understanding of change or resistance to change.
● Understand the change principles that can assist in implementing the change process more smoothly.
● Understand the ways in which to measure levels of use and stages of concern.
As a result, you should be better equipped to advocate for yourself or your colleague(s) to increase
participation in PLCs by constructing a plan of action utilizing the information from this section. Remember the
ultimate goal of PLCs is collaboration and sharing of professional knowledge and experience to help each other
grow both personally and professionally.
Hall, G. E., & Hord, S. M. (2015). Implementing change: Patterns, principles, and
potholes. Boston, Mass.; Munich [u.a.: Pearson.