Generating strategic plans and work plans, building teacher-training programmes, managing public relations and creating learning materials have been integral to these initiatives. They have often constituted a major change in the given education system. He has won several awards for his work. Exploring the complexities of the change process, Peeter Mehisto has researched factors contributing to and hindering successful bilingual programme development. He has taught at the primary, secondary and university levels. He has extensive experience working with teachers in the classroom to support the implementation of best practice in bilingual programmes. Peeter Mehisto has also worked extensively with programme administrators. His publications, including the co-authored awarding-winning book Uncovering CLIL (Macmillan), have been addressed to teachers, school principals and/or to the research community. His latest book, which is a co-publication, is called Building Bilingual Education Systems: Forces, mechanisms and counterweights (Cambridge University Press).
Workshop participants will explore some of the knowledge, mechanisms and forces required to manage change in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world. A diverse knowledge base is central to (a) testing assumptions, (b) building and implementing transparent, results-based plans that are supported by stakeholders, and (c) building a work culture that can identify and address obstacles to change. This knowledge base includes, an understanding of change management models, of the nature of thinking and of how to overcome resistance to change. Remarkably in many change processes key knowledge is often ignored. Instead, forces such as a belief in the ‘right way’ to proceed can drive change. Other forces such as a lack of trust can become an insurmountable obstacle to change. Mechanisms are also key to managing change, be those professional development programmes or financing of local change initiatives. But mechanisms are never enough for building an effective education system. It will be argued during the workshop that over-stressing the importance of mechanisms over forces is likely to have negative consequences. Forces are often more powerful than any one mechanism and as such need to be carefully identified and managed to ensure that mechanisms operate as intended.