Managing teacher balkanization in times of implementing change

Shun Wing NG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


This article presents a qualitative case study aiming at exploring how teachers responded to imposed educational change of parental involvement in school. By capturing the thoughts and perceptions of twenty-four teachers and two principals in two case study schools, together with conducting participant observations, it is found that there were implicit and explicit ideological demarcations among teachers. Three balkanized factions of teachers were wrestling at school. For those who welcomed the innovation of parental involvement, they took initiatives to communicate and work with parents. The second faction of teachers who disbelieved such innovation was found diffident and conservative, and demonstrated resistance to change. The third type of teachers was of majority who might or might not take part in implementing change. However, once incentives were imposed from the management, they would probably be assimilated towards welcoming parental involvement. On the contrary, this faction of teachers might also be affected by the second faction of conservative teachers possessing the value of isolated orientation at the same time. Balkanization easily causes conflicts among teachers and exerts negative impacts on school cultures. In such a wrestling state, school leaders should be alert and provide teachers with sufficient opportunities for professional development so that they are equipped with necessary skills and knowledge that help facilitate educational change.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Ng, S.-w. (2010, September). Managing teacher balkanization in times of implementing change. Paper presented at the International Conference on Educational Research 2010, University of Kaen Khon, Thailand.


  • School culture
  • Education reform
  • Parental involvement
  • Educational change


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