Some of the reasons for resisting change identified by Earley and Fletcher-Campbell (1989, p.140) include: “fear of the unknown; seeing change as a threat and ‘worrying if I’ll be able to cope’” and can result in teachers’ negative attitudes towards change. Carnall (2003) also argues that, “resistance to change is really resistance to uncertainty” (p.1) and as such is linked to the managing of change processes rather than the change itself.
As organizational environments impact change and resistance (Rosenholtz, 1989; Collinson and Cook, 2007), in “learning impoverished” schools (Rosenholtz, 1989, p.83) teachers tend to neglect their own learning and stick to routine and trusted practices, and they tend to work in isolation. This can be especially true of more experienced teachers who can be more resistant to change (Collinson and Cook, 2007; Weick, 1995), as was seen in my organization, despite some attempts to improve teacher learning through professional development. Some of the reasons for unwillingness to change, may also include inability to self-evaluate performance, avoidance of uncertainty, inability to innovate, disruption of the status quo or perpetuating traditions (O’Toole, 1996; Collinson and Cook, 2007; Schein, 1993).
Within the global trend of self-evaluation, the lessons learnt from research in schools (James et al. 2006) which are committed to AfL cannot be ignored as it has been shown that formative practices can lead to self-reflection and self-evaluation, notions of great value in the technological age, where dependency and belief in doing well without any need for change are not competitive or marketable commodities.