Characteristics of teachers as change agents

H.R.M.A. Heijden, van der, J.J.M. Geldens, D. Beijaard, H.L. Popeijus

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    Teachers play a key role in realizing successful changes in education. Among them are real ‘change agents’ at both classroom and school level. To obtain insights into what characterizes these teachers, an exploratory study has been conducted by interviewing external experts, principals, and teachers (n = 20). An analysis of data resulted in a picture of characteristics attributed to teachers as change agents. These characteristics pertain to lifelong learning (being eager to learn and reflective), mastery (giving guidance, being accessible, positive, committed, trustful, and self-assured), entrepreneurship (being innovative and feeling responsible), and collaboration (being collegial). The category mastery appeared to consist of the most characteristics. Within the category entrepreneurship, ‘being innovative’ was mentioned most. The characteristics mentioned apply to both the classroom and school level, but the importance of demonstrating these characteristics at the school level seems to be weighed less heavily by teachers than by experts and principals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)681-699
    Number of pages20
    JournalTeachers and Teaching
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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