Outline:

Evaluation of the Enabling Forces

Evaluation of the Constraining Forces

Setting Priorities

The Constraint Removal Process

1.Area of Affect- Time Use

2. Constraint Source - Competencies

3. Constraint Location - Faculty and Staff

Constraint Removal Matrix Results

4. Strategy Selection

Rebudget

Reallocate

Reorganize

Retrain

Recommendations

Summary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment Paper: A Constraint Analysis: The Implementation of the Career and Program Plan at Netsilik School, Taloyoak, Nunavut

Any strategy that we undertake to improve various aspects of our operation, any proactive change that we implement to take advantage of emerging opportunities or to avoid negative effects from emerging societal tends, any growth strategy we pursue to expand our mission to better serve society faces immediate constraints. (Parker, 1984)

Education in the north has undergone many changes since the first Inuit families were encouraged to leave their nomadic lives in favour of life in settlements. Many models of schooling have been implemented over the years: mission schools, residential schools, community elementary schools, secondary boarding schools and finally community elementary and secondary schools. Community high schools have been the latest change to impact Inuit communities.

Starting in 1994, Netsilik School, Taloyoak expanded to add an additional grade each year. By 1997, the community was finally able have its first graduating class. Previous to 1994, students were required to attend larger centres like Yellowknife or Cambridge Bay to complete their high school education. Many students suffered homesickness and were unable to cope with the residential experience they faced at these schools. Dropout rates were very high and many students returned back to their home communities without completing their high school diploma. A community high school seems the perfect solution to this dropout problem. However, despite the creation of a community high school in Taloyoak, there are still large numbers of students who opt out of the education system without completing their programs. The high rate of dropout is a result of a number of various factors and it is difficult to attribute dropout to any one thing.

The Review of Secondary Education in the NWT 1998 (Department of Education, Culture and Employment, 1998), identified an essential component of senior secondary programs in NWT to be Career Development and Planning (CPP). As well, a research study entitled Northern Lights: A Research Study of Successful High School Students Across Nunavut by DaSilva & Hallett (unpublished) found that successful students are those who "have goals for their lives after graduation and they tend to see graduation from high school as an essential step towards attaining those goals" (p.5). ‘Success’ is defined using the criteria of having already graduated from high school or a very high likelihood of graduating (DaSilva & Hallett, unpublished). As stated in an earlier Needs Assessment Plan, prepared by myself, it is not beyond the scope of imagination to think that the choice to dropout could be influenced by the creation of appropriate Career and Program Plans for individual students. Career and Program Plans are intended to help students visualize a goal to their high school career and can work to encourage them to continue in their programs.

Again, as point of definition, the Career and Program Plan (CPP) is a continually revised plan mandated for use in Alberta and NWT schools (this includes Nunavut since April 1999). It takes into account requirements for graduation, career in the work world and admission to post secondary institutions (Storey, 1997). It is a plan that is created by the student and parents "with the assistance of the school, career development officers, partners in the community and mentors for the student prior to entrance into Grade 10" (Storey, 1997, p. 3). The Netsilik School Junior / Senior High divisional team would like to better implement the program suggested by Storey (1997) in their school in order to promote students to stay in school longer.

The following paper is a constraint analysis which incorporates the information generating method of force field analysis with the constraint removal approach as described by Parker (1986) in his article entitled A System for Constraint Removal. The ultimate goal to be reached is the implementation of the CPP program which is outlined by Storey (1997) in the document, The Nuts ‘n’ Bolts of the Career Program Plan Implementation Guide (Draft #2)

The earlier Needs Assessment Plan for Netsilik School discussed the CPP implementation guide outlined by Storey (1997). For sake of review, the Career Program Plan (CPP) is a process that starts in grade nine; it is a long-term plan is to involve the student, parents, teachers, and the principal. Grade nine students participate in a half-day workshop where they learn about the concept of career and importance of secondary school. It is important to note that although the CPP is mandated for the Kitikmeot region, the implementation guide (Storey, 1997) is not. This guide was presented to the Nunavut High School Project (April 1996) and accepted by the regions as a process to fulfil implementation of the CPP for Nunavut students. Following this is a Parent Night to share information with parents; later, meetings with individual students and parents take place (Storey, 1997). Throughout high school years, ongoing activities allow students to gain experience and information about various options.

Planning items to be completed in the grade nine year include: a written form (listing strengths/difficulties/interests, possible options/directions), a long term tentative course mapping plan, an interest inventory, and other such documents. Beyond grade nine, the CPP is reviewed every report period and course selections made as to follow the plan (Storey, 1997). For more information about the CPP (Storey, 1997), please refer to the Needs Assessment assignment completed for EDER 675, February 2000 by D. Maguire

A constraint analysis is intended to explore the various factors that impact a desired goal. In the case for Netsilik School, the goal is the implementation of the CPP (Storey, 1997). This paper will identify and assess the potential constraints (limits to success) of achieving this CPP (Storey, 1997) goal. Each constraint will be evaluated in terms of its level of impact on the success of the CPP project. To begin this process, the various impact factors (enabling forces and constraining forces) are explored using the force field analysis method. Later in this paper, these forces will be analyzed using a constraint removal matrix (Parker, 1986) in order to identify strategies to minimise the negative impacts and maximise the positive impacts on the goal. By the end of this constraint analysis, it will be possible to determine the level of success of implementing the CPP (Storey, 1997) project.

The first step of this constraint analysis was to work with the five Junior / Senior High teachers and school principal in a brainstorming session to explore the various enabling and constraining forces as they apply to the implementation of the CPP project. A force field analysis brainstorming session was setup as a 30-minute problem - solving session. Initially, the group reviewed the expectations of the program as outlined by Storey (1997) and profiled the actions that are currently in place at the school. The group went forward by brainstorming the enabling forces. Once this list was exhausted, constraining forces were explored. These enabling and constraining forces are listed in Figure 1.

As the discussion continued, the group was able to check for validity of the forces listed and consider the resulting inhibitions of the program. This process allowed the group to see the forces from a number of perspectives and consider their impact on the CPP program. From this list, the forces can be categorised according to theme; this grouping is shown in Figure 2. Grouping the forces into themes will allow the constraint removal matrix (Parker, 1986) to be used to identify strategies to minimize negative impacts on the goal. By looking at the two figures, one can see that the implementation of the CPP as Storey (1997) describes is not an easy endeavour. The following section of this constraint analysis evaluates the enabling and constraining forces with respect to their level of impact (major, medium or minor) on the implementation of the CPP (Storey, 1997) at Netsilik School.

  Evaluation of the enabling forces

As was done in the original force field analysis-brainstorming meeting, the evaluation of the enabling forces are considered first. The enabling forces are categorised into three themes: Resources, Students Experiences, and Staff. Each factor can be evaluated either has having a major, medium or minor impact on the success of the goal (Figure 3).

Under the heading of Resources falls the template or hard copy form of individual student plan. This template includes career choice information, possible future education institutions, and necessary high school courses to complete. Although this form is useful as a quick guide to student planning, it does not actually guide the CPP process; rather, it is the final step of the CPP and could be considered as having a minor impact on the success of the project. Another enabling force is free Internet access in a computer laboratory; career options can be researched and students can apply to programs online. Current information is very valuable and it allows students to visit possible educational institutions. This factor is evaluated as having a major positive impact on the goal. Thirdly, annual career shows and student career workshops funded by Department of Education Culture and Employment come to the school. Although these fairs introduce the concept of career to students, it is a whirlwind tour that does not have long term effects. Career shows and workshops are considered as having medium impact on the project. Finally, the student can access aptitude tests and skills inventories. These inventories encourage students to consider their strengths in different areas but the value of the tool is very dependent on its quality; these inventories are evaluated as having a minor impact.

The second category is Student Experience. The staff at Netsilik School felt that all of the forces listed under this category had a major impact on the success of the CPP and that Netsilik School was doing quite well in facilitating a wide variety of student experiences. Career explorations start early at the age of twelve. Students participate in Career and Technology Studies (CTS) courses and there are other career-oriented, teachable moments in other courses. Many professionals visit the school and present information about their career roles; as well, many local workers are visible in their jobs amongst the community. Finally, students have opportunities to participate in travel beyond the local community: mining company visits, exchange trips, science fair, science camp etc. These travel experiences encourage students to consider going away from the community for additional educational opportunities; this factor is considered as having a medium impact on the success of the CPP implementation project.

The last category in the enabling force side of the force field analysis is Staff. The staff of Netsilik School is a cross-section of people from all over Canada who have a high level of experience from outside the community and in the workings of educational system across the country. The staff has the ability to teach to students and have skills necessary for communicating career information to students and parents. The staff’s willingness to participate in the force field analysis demonstrates a genuine concern and interest in student achievement. All of the current staff who work with students in the Junior / Senior High division are computer literate and Internet aware. These enabling forces are considered as having a major impact on the success of the program because it is the teacher that is primarily responsible for the implementation of the CPP program.

_Evaluation of the constraining forces

The constraining forces are thematically grouped into the categories of: Time, Resources (personnel, information, financial), and Socio-Psychological. As was done with the enabling forces, each of the constraining forces are evaluated according to the level of impact on the goal: major, medium or minor (see Figure 3).

Time, or rather the lack thereof, is one issue that kept arising during the force field analysis brainstorming meeting. The group members felt that there is a lack of time to effectively and thoroughly complete the CPP process. The current scheduling does not allow class time for the CPP to be introduced and directly discussed; due to already packed curriculum courses, time is hard to find within other subject areas. The CPP program recommends some time for one-on-one, student-teacher interaction and teachers have no time within their school day to facilitate such a meeting. Any career counselling that is currently in place is done after school hours and in personal time. Teachers also feel that there is a lack of time for collaborative planning and discussion with other teachers about the CPP process concerning individual student goals.

Also, the teachers who are currently working with the Junior / Senior High students have never had the opportunity nor the time to receive appropriate instruction for counselling students on career options. There is a high rate of teacher turnover at the school so time for training in CPP is required yearly. These constraining forces overlap into the Resource category because they deal with financial and information barriers. Nevertheless, time is a major constraining force and time issues have a major negative impact on the success of the CPP project. This conclusion was agreed upon unanimously by those who participated in the force field analysis-brainstorming meeting.

The second thematic category under constraining forces is Resources including information, personnel, and financial concerns. Under Information, falls the concern with the inability to get hard copies of college and university calendars free of cost; since most post-secondary institutions have Internet access, they no long send paper versions of their catalogues to schools. This makes it difficult for students to take the information home to their family for discussion. Catalogue information that is currently in the school is quite out of date. These constraining forces are considered to have a minor impact on the success of the project; since Netsilik School gained access to the internet, these information issues have less of an impact then they would have had only two years ago.

Also, the present template used to record CPP information is a computer database, which is not user-friendly when students are required to review their individual process each reporting period. Again, this is considered to have a minor impact on the project because a newer template could be designed. Also it may be possible to gain access to a better information recording device from another source (another school, Internet etc).

Finally, gaining course-offering information from Nunavut Arctic College is a constraining force because this institution has a lack of long-term vision. Nunavut Arctic College has a variety of campus locations across the north and students who are uncomfortable leaving the north will choose to attend NAC over going to other schools mainly because they will be able to live at home or with relatives. It is very hard for students to plan ahead. Unfortunately, Nunavut Arctic College has difficulties setting up their course offerings due to inconsistent funding by sponsors. Thus students do not know what programs the college will deliver until a month before the course is to begin. The brainstorming group felt that this force has a major negative impact on the goal of the project when considering the number of students who are unwilling to travel outside the community for educational opportunities. However, due to the scope of this constraint removal process, is difficult to make the required changes within this external institution.

Personnel constraining forces include the lack of a career counsellor or other staff members who have appropriate training to guide students in the CPP process. This is considered as having a major impact on the success of the project because of the key role that the teacher plays in the implementation of the CPP as described by Storey (1997). Teachers are responsible for facilitating the Parent Night, directing career-related experiences, interacting with students to find their areas of expertise and researching options for post-secondary education.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of willingness by some community people to participate in programs like job shadowing which work to provide students with an opportunity to see elements of the work world. Students have limited access to on-the-job training, part-time or summer employment positions in Taloyoak. Students do not gain a sense of the work world. These forces have a minor impact on the success of the CPP project.

As mentioned earlier as an enabling force, the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) presents an annual career show and workshops for students. Unfortunately, these opportunities can also be considered as constraining forces because they present only a few possibilities for career choice, in a limited time, without the appropriate knowledge of the student background nor personal interests. These workshops are short one to two-day programs, which do not foster long term planning. The degree of impact on the success of the CPP project is minor because there is evidence of a level of support by ECE for the CPP project despite the obvious improvements that are needed.

Financially, the cost of bringing career people to speak to students in Taloyoak is very high: without aid from outside agencies, like ECE, students would have almost no access to career people from outside the community. Money issues are hard to categorise because most of the information resources can now be accessed through the World Wide Web but computers and computer training for teachers can be costly. Training of any kind requires some sort of financial aid; although there are pockets of money for teacher education (like professional development funds and allotted inservice days), arranging for access requires planning and knowledge of the system. Financial issues are considered as having a negative minor impact on the CPP project.

Finally, the issue of parental support overlaps the two categories of personnel and socio-psychological. constraints. Unfortunately, there is a lack of parental involvement and guidance in the decision making process: parents who refuse to take part in the CPP process can not be considered positive resource. This situation may be the result of a lack of understanding about the current job situation for youth or it may be because many Inuit parents feel uncomfortable in encouraging their children to seek education and employment opportunities outside of the community. This poses a medium negative impact on the project.

As well as the lack of parental support, other socio-psychological forces are in effect. For example, when first asked to think of careers and interests, many students are unrealistic in their goal setting; lower performing students research high technology positions, or higher performing students choose to take lower level positions. There is a lack of student motivation to complete the CPP process because many students have an unrealistic view of their plan. Student motivation, unrealistic goal setting and a limited worldview are considered to have a medium impact on the CPP project.

Setting Priorities

The force field analysis uncovered a wealth of information surrounding the implementation of the CPP (Storey, 1997) at Netsilik School. Force field analysis was a great way to get the views and ideas from those people who work directly in the system. The force field analysis also works to validate and clarify the enabling and constraining forces.

Figure 3 shows the degree of impact that each force has on the goal of implementation of the CPP project. The evaluation of the degree of impact that these forces have on the goal reveal that time issues and teacher training in CPP counselling are the most pressing issues with respect to the need for constraint removal. Using the constraint removal system and matrix described by Parker (1986), the next section of this constraint analysis will attempt to evaluate the feasibility of change in these two areas. The constraint removal system and matrix will provide recommendations and strategies to effectively improve the implementation of this CPP project.

 

The Constraint Removal Process

The constraint removal process (Parker, 1986) is a four step process:

1) the identification of the area affected;

2) the identification of the constraint source,

3) the identification of the constraint location;

4) the selection of strategies for removal or minimisation of the constraint.

Step One: Area of Affect - Time Use

The area of affect is the "part of the organization where the constraint exerts (or will exert) negative influence on the proposed change" (Parker, 1986, p. 65). The area that is most likely to be adversely affected in the implementation of the CPP is the element of time. As the force field analysis identified, time is the most pressing issue for the implementation of the CPP to overcome. The implementation of the CPP progress requires a great deal of time: in class time for introduction of concepts; time for student career experience (ie. job shadowing, on-the-job opportunities); one-on-one career counselling for individualization of plans; time for instruction; time for the research of individual student information. For these reasons, it is appropriate to consider the classification of area of affect to be Time Use.

Step Two: Constraint Source - Competencies

The second step in the constraint removal process (Parker, 1986) is the identification of the constraint source. Parker (1986) uses four categories of constraint sources: competencies, attitude, material, and policy. Considering the key role that teachers have in the implementation of the CPP project and the evident lack of teacher knowledge about career counselling, it is logical to identify the constraint source in the category of competencies. Parker (1986) confirms this identification by stating that:

" Competencies are constraining when success of the proposed change requires skills that are unavailable in the institution or present in insufficient quantity or quality or when highly skilled persons are so assigned that their skills are not available for use in the change strategy." (p. 66)

In Netsilik School, teachers have had no specific career counselling experience. Although enabling forces include the fact that these individuals have skills in teaching and communication, teachers are only able to draw upon their personal experience in career planning.

Attitude is not an issue of concern as the teachers demonstrate a genuine interest in student achievement. There are no obvious or major shortages of material required fulfilling the implementation project; the school has a computer lab that is available for Internet research. The principal reports that if any material is lacking, a certain amount of funding can be made available to purchase supplies. Teachers at the school are computer literate and can access information from the Internet but they lack the knowledge specific to career counselling. Even if there were individuals who had such experience and knowledge, currently there is a lack of time available for them to use their skill in the implementation of the CPP project. There are no policy constraints evident which would hinder the success of the project because the CPP program is already mandated for use in this region. Thus, the constraint source is identified in the category of competencies.

Step Three: Constraint Location - Faculty and Staff

Parker (1984) describes the third step as the identification of the location of the constraint. He defines location as "that force giving power to the constraint and enabling it to threaten the success of a change strategy" (Parker, 1986, p. 67). In simpler terms, the location is defined as the place where the problem arises or where the heart of the problem is found. In the CPP implementation project, the heart of the problem is found with faculty and staff. Faculty and staff, due to their key role in the CPP process, are the force that is threatening the success of the proposed change strategy. It is important to remember that the constraint removal process is not intended to place blame on any one person, group of persons, sector of the school or educational system; instead the process is an attempt to identify potential difficulties in order to uncover possible alternative strategies to minimize or remove the barriers to success.

Parker (1984) lists four other possible constraint locations: constituted board, authority hierarchy, student body, and external constituency. Constituted boards do not directly apply in this situation; although the new Nunavut Education Act stipulates the amount of time required per subject area, it does not limit the time that can be spend on career planning with students. Authority hierarchy refers to the school administration; in this case both the principal and the vice principal are members of the divisional team and do not bar the success of the project by limiting the time that is allotted for CPP implementation. The student body is also named as a possible constraint location but this is not applicable in this issue because students are expected to participate in the programs designed within the school system. Finally, with respect to external constituencies, only the professional teachers’ organization (Federation of Nunavut Teachers) would become involved if the CPP project required teachers to work beyond the expectations of their contract. Other external constituencies are not applicable in this issue. Thus, the source of Faculty and Staff is identified as the constraint location for use in the constraint removal matrix designed by Parker (1986).

Constraint Removal Matrix: Results

The constraint is now fully described in terms of area of affect (Time Use), source (Competency), and location (Faculty and Staff). Parker (1986) suggests using his constraint removal matrix to identify feasible strategies for constraint removal. The matrix identifies ten categories of alternative strategies that "the organizational change literature suggests as effective for specific combinations of areas affected and sources of constraints" (Parker, 1986, p. 68). Using the constraint removal matrix (Parker, 1986), the following four strategies are recommended:

Rebudget

Reallocate

Reorganize

Retrain

These four strategies need to be carefully considered for feasibility. The next section deals directly with the feasibility of each strategy.

Step Four: Strategy Selection - Weighing the options

At this point in this constraint analysis, it is time to consider the four strategies that have been identified through the application of the matrix designed by Parker (1996). Weighing the options means carefully examining the projected positive and negative consequences. The following section judges each of the four viable alternative strategies according a set of criteria:

Ease of application of strategy

Time frame for implementation of strategy

Cost of implementing strategy

Level of coordination to initiate strategy

Possible external / internal limitations for implementation of strategy

Effectiveness of strategy to achieve desired results

By evaluating each of the strategies according to these general areas, it is hoped that the most feasible strategy can be selected to effectively remove the constraints, which are hindering the success of the CPP project. Figure 4 is a strategy comparison chart using the criteria listed above.

Rebudget

The first constraint removal strategy recommended by the matrix (Parker, 1986) is Rebudget. Rebudget refers to making changes in the current plan that adjusts expenses to income. In the case of Netsilik School, the school is allotted a set amount of money per year based on the number of students enrolled in the school. This budget is created in May for the following school year. Accessing large amounts of additional money is difficult once the school year has begun. Rebudgeting would be suspended until the amount of support was released.. Thus, the rebudgeting strategy would not achieve results immediately. Unfortunately, when money is shifted into one area, it is usually taken from another area of need; thus the cost of the rebudgeting strategy can remain unknown until subsequential problems occur in other areas. In a site-based managed school where there is involvement of staff on the creation of a school budget, the staff as a whole would have to accept a change in the allotment for CPP implementation. Again, although there is a cost involved in any change strategy, rebudgeting may be considered in conjunction with a more effective plan. There is doubt that the Rebudget strategy will effectively remove the constraints associated with time and competency issues.

Reallocate

The second strategy recommended by the matrix (Parker, 1986) is Reallocate. Parker (1986) does define the term reallocate but in this case it will refers to changes in the distribution of people and resources. This constraint removal strategy is predicted to have a lower level of difficulty than Rebudget with respect to the ease of implementation. Even though teaching assignments are determined previous to the start of the school year, there is an element of flexibility within certain positions that would allow for staff members to participate in the CPP project. Also, certain resources are available within the school that can be reallocated for CPP use and other resources from outside the school can be redistributed within the region to aid with the change. The time frame required for Reallocation to take effect depends upon the priorities of those who are directly affected by this strategy. For example, if a member of the Junior / Senior High team feels that CPP is a critical issue and requires immediate action, they many be more willing to accept a reallocation of their teaching skills or they may be more willing to approach other teachers to acquire resources for CPP use. Reallocation requires a high level of coordination because it can affect all teachers within the Junior / Senior High team as well as other colleagues within the school or within the region. It may also require a certain amount of funds that have not been allotted in this current year’s plan. Unfortunately, reallocation is not predicted to effect the main issues as identified by the original force field analysis: time and competency. Thus, other constraint removal strategies must be considered.

Reorganize

Another strategy identified by the matrix (Parker, 1986) is Reorganize. Reorganization is defined as the systematic rearrangement of structure; in this case, the strategy indicates a reorganization of time or schedule. In essence, the strategy implies making more time within the schedule to effectively guide the CPP process. Both teachers and students will be affected by this strategy because their schedules will change to increase time for CPP discussions and classes. It may be interesting to note that in the past, the Junior / Senior High schedule did include one fifty minute homeroom period per six day cycle to address issues including elements of CPP. Unfortunately, this homeroom period was omitted from the current year’s timetable and it would be difficult to reschedule such a period. An inclusion of this homeroom class would be set aside until the next school year.

As mentioned earlier, the CPP process requires a fair amount of one-on-one, teacher-student interaction. One period added per cycle will not address this need; more time will be required for teachers to individualize the CPP for each student. Because teachers will require time within the school day to work with individual students, there may be an issue of cost involved to hire teachers to fill positions for various courses. Fortunately, Netsilik School is allowed some flexibility to determine the numbers of staff positions, while keeping within a set budget. The reorganization strategy is directly in line with the previous identified constraint of Time Use and is predicted to have a positive effect on the removal of this constraint. However, even if teachers have more time to address CPP needs, they will not be effective in successfully implementing the CPP process unless they have the necessary knowledge and skills to do the job. In other words, increases time is only one issue; teachers need to be competent in the CPP process.

Retrain

Increasing competency is what the fourth strategy is all about. This strategy is labelled as Retrain. Because training involves teaching, the term ‘retrain’ implies teaching staff members skills which will help them implement the CPP project. In this case, the term ‘retrain’ simply means the teaching of skills to make one proficient in a particular area. ‘Retrain’ implies that some extent of training has already occurred; however, the staff at Netsilik School reports having no formal instruction on CPP implementation. Therefore, this constraint analysis would like to assume that retraining includes the learning of new skills, which build upon previous teacher education.

Teachers require time for retraining and there is a cost involved in the implementation of this strategy; expenses involve substitute teachers, travel, and supplies. For the most part, these costs can be reimbursed through the Central Professional Improvement Fund (under the Federation of Nunavut Teachers) which allocates money for various educational experiences. Also, the Kitikmeot Board of Education may also provide money for this educational endeavour. The people most affected by this constraint removal strategy are the Junior / Senior High team who will undergo the training; students will be affected because teachers will be missing from class. Setting up appropriate retraining for teachers can be considered moderate level of difficulty. Effort is required in the creation of training materials, the contracting of a consultant to deliver the program and the arrangement of participant travel and residence. Once teachers have increased their level of competency in implementing the CPP process, it is predicted that students will see almost immediate improvements in their career planning. The strategy to retrain is projected as a positive consequence on the minimisation of the constraint.

Recommendations

It is recommended by this constraint analysis that the most favourable constraint removal strategy option is Retrain. Retraining involves delivering a program on CPP implementation for Netsilik School Junior / Senior High team members to help them better facilitate the creation of individual goal setting plans for students.

Additionally, the Reorganize strategy should be considered. It is predicted that once the Retrain strategy is completed, teachers will still need a great deal of time to fulfil the necessary activities outlined in the CPP implementation guide by Storey (1997). Scheduling changes should be considered to allow teachers time for direct teaching on CPP issues and time for one-on-one, student - teacher interaction. Teachers must also have time to research current information for students because career information is an area which is in continuous flux. It is recommended that the one-hour homeroom period per cycle be reinstated for whole class activities. As well, teachers who are working with grade twelve students should have increased time to locate current information so that these students can make wise application decisions. More time is required for one-on-one interaction in grade nine when the CPP process is first initiated. Time is also needed at each reporting period for the review of the individual CPP progress.

Together these two strategies, Retrain and Reorganize, are projected to result in the removal or minimisation of the constraints associated with CPP implementation: Time Use and Competency. At this point in the year, it is recommended that the change strategies be considered for the 2000 -2001 school year. It is unfortunate that the students who are currently in the program will not have full access to the CPP process but it is unlikely that there is enough time to lay the groundwork for change. Now is the time to begin thinking about how these constraint removal strategies can improve next year.

Summary

This paper is a constraint analysis which explores the issues surrounding the implementation of the CPP process as described by Storey (1997) for the Junior / Senior High students at Netsilik School in Taloyoak. A Force Field Analysis meeting was held with the staff members who work with these student; this meeting was successful at brainstorming the enabling and constraining forces which work against the goal of implementing the CPP (Storey, 1997). From this list of forces, thematic categories are created which help to group the ideas into larger workable areas. The thematic categorisation reveals that the highest priorities for constraint removal are Time and Teacher Competency.

A four step constraint removal process (Parker, 1986) is used to identify strategies to the removal or minimisation of these constraints. The first step identifies the area affected as being Time Use. The second step identifies the constraint source to be Competency. The third step identifies the constraint location to be Staff. Through the use of the Constraint Removal Matrix (Parker, 1986), four possible strategies are listed for constraint removal: Rebudget, Reorganize, Reallocate and Retrain. Of these strategies, Retrain is predicted to achieve positive results; however, it is recommended that the Reorganize strategy be incorporated alongside the Retrain strategy in order to achieve the most favourable results. Both strategies are predicted to be feasible and to be effective in the removal the constraints which are currently hindering the success of the Career and Program Plan implementation project.

References

DaSilva, C. & Hallett, C. (unpublished). "Northern Lights: A Research Study of Successful High School Students Across Nunavut."

Parker, R. (1984). "A System for Constraint Removal." in EDER 675 Book of Readings, Winter 2000. ED. Clark, D. & Childs, E. Calgary: University of Calgary.

Storey, G. (1997). The nuts ‘n’ bolts of career and program plan implementation guide. draft #2. (unpublished).

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment (unpublished). "Review of Secondary Education in the NWT 1998".