We live in an era in which change has become a familiar term. In fact, one frequently used phrase implies that the only permanent feature of our time is change. There is hardly any social institution which escapes the process of change, and education is no exception (Stoll and Fink, 1996). Formal education in schools in the last five decades has been marked by significant and frequent changes in its aims and objectives, its content, teaching strategies, methods of student assessment, provisions and the levels of funding. Yet it might also be argued that education is the social anchor, a stabilizing force ‘in the midst of an ever changing society and economy buffeted by globalised market forces’ (Kennedy, 2005, p. 33). Glatthorn and Jailall (2000) use a ‘streams’ metaphor to explain all the

changes which are ongoing in educational systems – some streams ebb, some gather strength, sometimes the streams are widely separated, at other times they flow together. Not always have the changes led to something better – some innovations have been disappointing and brought about yet another turn in the search for the ‘best’ education (Seashore Louis, 2007). Fullan (2004) contends that the major problem in education is that educational systems are fundamentally conservative – they want to retain the status quo – and when change is attempted ‘it results in defensiveness, superficiality or at best shortlived pockets of success’ (p. 3). Yet there is a moral purpose for education (Fullan, 2001). Teachers and schools should be making a difference to the lives of students – ‘they are in the business of making improvements, and to make improvements in an ever changing world is to contend with and manage the forces on an ongoing basis’ (Fullan, 1993, p. 4). Developing a new mindset for teachers is indeed a major challenge (Spillane

et al., 2002; Kridel and Bullough, 2007). Some educators contend that ‘teachers have the reputation of being inherently and universally stubborn when facing change’ (Corbett and Rossman, 1989, p. 36). Much of this purported stubbornness could be attributed to the selection process in recruiting teachers and the socialization process experienced by teachers.