2023-11-29 19:38

Kobus van Wyk

More change agents required!

The e-pioneer is a change agent.

A change agent is someone who attempts to alter the behaviour of people or organizations with the purpose of enabling them to do more.

The world around us is changing at a rapid pace.  The mind-blowing advance of technology is one of the greatest contributing factors to this change.  Unfortunately many people are intimidated by technology and they, as well as their organizations, do not keep pace with the changes happening around them. Sadly, they are left behind.

This is why the e-pioneer must be a change agent.

It is not easy to be a change agent.  When people don’t want to change they dig in their heels and kick and scream to preserve the status quo in order to stay within their comfort zone.

If you think it is hard to be a change agent, don’t forget that it is even harder to change.

You can only be an effective change agent if you understand the fears and apprehensions of those who need to change – listen to them and take note of their concerns.

To succeed as a change agent, the e-pioneer must be many things: you need to be a salesperson, a counsellor, a confidante, a teacher – and above all, you must set an example that will show others the advantages of change.

Click here for more food for thought for e-pioneers.


  1. People have always struggled with change, especially where that change is enforced. Most of us like our comfort zones, and find change a bit threatening and scary.

    With regard to technology in schools, I regularly ask myself why there seems to be so little buy-in from the teachers. Why do so many appear to be so weary, even traumatised? Perhaps there has been too much change in the teaching profession over the past decade and a half. (I understand that yet another change in the national curriculum is on the cards.)

    I was reading about the Renaissance period of history, with its wonderful blossoming of the arts… and also education, after the bleak Middle Ages. What is it that inspires such greatness in Man? What brings about this kind of self-motivated change? How can we cultivate that in schools in South Africa?

    Tonight I saw a movie about the life of John Keats, the poet (Bright Star – in a cinema near you). He died believing that his work was a failure. Yet he didn’t stop writing, and history holds him up as one of the great romantic poets. Vincent van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime, yet he carried on painting masterpieces, even though nobody recognised them as such during his lifetime.

    Change agents need a similar refusal to give up. Somehow, we have to persuade teachers to give their all during lessons, even if they don’t see immediate results. “Education is about lighting the fire, not filling the pail.”

    Still, I wonder, what is the missing ingredient? Our education system is in crisis. What is it that will inspire teachers and bring the change that we need?

  2. I love the history of science and if you read the strange stories of scientist’s lives and how they discovered stuff you can see how much we are like them. The issue that you raise Kathy is quite correct. A problem that we face is with people….like myself. How does one remain inspired?

  3. Why must the WE ? THEY ? inspired the ME ?

    Do we need someone / something / somebody / anybody / everybody or nobody to inspire me ? We know what was the outcome of this story of some + any + every + nobody !! The job was not done …. so if the job must get done, Educators must not wait for a somebody or anybody or perhaps for everybody because nobody(incuding him/herself) will not do it !! Just do it !!

    I am not waiting for somebody to show me how the EIAWB function – I just do it !

    Albie an e-body

  4. We have a new democracy-infact its not new anymore and with that comes change. Changes in all areas of life, government,social conditions, health, education etc. It is sad that change in education takes place every time a new minister takes over-Bengu, Kader Ismial, Naledi Pandor,etc and each one wants to leave a legacy of changes they brough into the system. Not all their changes work- some may work in a first world country, but in South Africa?? We first need to change the governments attitude towards education. When the budget is prepared-see where education finds itself on the list-maybe third or fourth.

    The attitude of educators will only change if we are seen for what we are worth today. In the eyes of the state we are but a number and a pawn to be used as puppets on a string!When changes are to be made to the curriculum, speak to people in the field, those who are in the classrooms daily. However, its all a polotical game-depends on whose in charge!

  5. A change agent in education must first ensure that the principal and others in school management, including the parent body, are on board. This is particularly important with technology, which is expensive to acquire. A change agent needs to ensure that everyone understands why the technology is important and how it is going to be used within a school. Once everyone is on board, then an implementation process needs to be put into place, including the necessary training of teachers – not only in using technology, but also integrating it into regular classroom teaching.

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