Apart from change models, there are also strategies for diffusion of change. Schon, as referenced in Wayne Parsons, (2002) distinguishes three models for the dissemination of innovation. The three models are “the center-periphery model”, and two variations of it: the “proliferation of center model” and the shifting centers model”. Chin and Benne as in Fullan (2001), distinguish three types of strategies that can be applied when bring about change: Power-coercive, Normative-re-educative, Empirical-rational. in this description, it only focuses on Model of Dissemination of Curriculum Innovation and Change
As mentioned in the above, Schon classified the three models o dissemination: “the center-periphery model”, and two variations of it: the “proliferation of center model” and the shifting centers model”.
1) The Center-Periphery Model
This model is similar to RD&D and SI model where the developer play important role in identifying the problems, and the receivers just as passive recipients of the innovation developed to solve that problem. However, this model more emphasizes on diffusion than the development of standardized curriculum product. A.V. Kelly (2004) said:
The essence of the simple Center-periphery approach is that it assumes that the process of dissemination must be centrally controlled and managed, that the innovation is planned in detail prior to its dissemination and that the process of that dissemination is one way-from the center out to the consumers on the periphery.
According to Schon, as in Ratnavadivel (1995:70), the center periphery model is rest on three basic assumptions, it is as follows:
(i). the innovation to be diffused exist, fully realized in its essential, prior to its diffusion. (ii). Diffusion is the movement of an innovation from the center out to its users. (iii). Directed diffusion is centrally managed process of dissemination, training, and provision of resources and incentives.
The effectiveness of this approach depends on several factors, which include not only the strength of the center resources but also the number of point on the periphery that are to be reached and the length of the ‘spoke’ the distance of these point from center. This assumption is based on his following statements:
The scope of center periphery model varies directly with the level of technology governing the flow of men, materials, money and information, the scope of center-periphery model depends on its capacity for generating and managing feedback. Because the process of diffusion is regulated by the center, its effectiveness depends upon the way in which information flows back to the center.
Hence, the weaknesses of this model are characteristic of center-periphery model. Schon added that these kind of simple systems are liable to fail because:
When center-periphery system exceeds the resources or the energy at the center, overloads the capacity of the radii, or mishandles feedback from the periphery, it fails. Failure takes the form of simple ineffectiveness in diffusion, distortion of the message, or disintegration of the system as a whole.
On the other hands, Ratnavadivel (1995:71) states, it has to be borne in mind that Schon’s models were not based on innovation or changes in the field of education curriculum. However, it has been applied an interpreted in the context of reforms, innovations and changes in the field of education. Two examples model in British context are provided by the Nuffield-Sponsored Resources for Learning Project and the Schools Council’s Sixth from the general studies project.
2) The Proliferation of Centres Model.
The principal problem of design shift from the design of product or technique to the design of a network and the pattern of social learning shift from successive ‘sweeps’ of limited innovations from a center throughout a periphery, to the formation of self-transforming network. (Schon 1973:108).
From the above statements, we may see that the proliferation of centres model is elaboration the center-periphery model, in which there are secondary as well as primary centers, designed as though to extend the limits and overcome the source of failure inherent in the center periphery model. For further description about the proliferation of centres model that’s better we examine the following statements in Ratnavadivel:
This system retains the basic cater-periphery structure but differentiates primary and secondary centers. Secondary center engage in the diffusion of innovation; primary center support and manage secondary center. The effect is to multiply many-fold the reach and efficiency of the diffusion system. The limit to the reach and effectiveness of the new system depend now on primary center’s ability to generate support and manage new center. The model of the proliferation of centers makes of the primary centers a trainer of trainers. The central message includes not only the content of the innovation to be diffused, but a pre-established method for its diffusion. The primary center now specializes in training, deployment, support, mentoring, and management (1995:84-86)
We may see in this model, the primary center prepared the secondary center to spread out the innovation to clients. It could be a concerned to management of secondary center in diffusing the innovation to the clients. The resources of failure of this model are similar to that of the center-periphery model. Firstly it may be due to the limitation of infrastructure:
When the network of communications of money, men information and materials is inadequate to the demands imposed on it, the system must either retrench or fail, the need for rapid central response, or for a more differentiated response to widely varying regional condition, may overtax the available infrastructure. (Schon 1971:91)
Secondly, as Donald and Walker (1976) have expressed, the demands on center management, particularly the center doctrine, may not meet the needs of secondary center leaders looking for support and flexibility to counter local resistance, and such centers may become detached from the primary center. Thirdly, the lack of identification with an innovation may lead to an absence of feeling of ownership and thereby commitment toward the innovation.
3) The Shifting Center Model
Schon introduced this model as a survival prone model which may provide a useful guide to the understanding of change process in the twentieth century. Using the key feature expressed by Schon (1971) MacDonald and Walker (1971), characterize it in the following terms:
It has no clearly established centre; center appears, reach of peak, and disappear to be replaced by new center within quite a short period of time. There is no stable, centrally established message, the message shifts and evolves producing a family of related message. The system of the movement cannot be described as center-periphery, centers rise and fall, message change. But the movement is a diffusing, learning system, in which both primary and secondary message evolve rapidly, along with the organization of the diffusion it’s self. (MacDonald and Walker 1976, as referenced in Ratnavadivel, 1995:73)
Donald and Walker (1976) point out, Stenhouse (1975) is not optimistic about the potential of the movement as paradigm for education policy. He expressed his reservation as:
a central problem in the improvement of education is the gap between accepted policy and practice. Policy is too often out of touch with reality. The problem is that the movement’s learning capacity is largely instrumental. The direction of the movement is assumed and learning is learning of tactics. Within its structure there is no systematical implementation in the class (Stanhouse 1975 as citied in Ratnavadivel)