Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM)
Video: Introduction to the CBAM

Text Transcript of the Video

Narrator: Schools and districts usually embark on the change process with the goal of classroom and school improvement. They introduce innovations, new programs, new practices, new curricula, with the expectation that the change will lead to better student outcomes. But implementation of new programs is difficult. Far too often, these innovations do not result in improvement. When that happens, schools often try a new program. Then, after seeing no results, move on to another. Instead, school staffs need to understand the change process itself. Evaluators, researchers, and school administrators charged with the implementation of standards-based reforms need tools that will help them describe and measure the components of complex initiatives. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model, or CBAM, is one such set of tools.

In today's new era of accountability in education, CBAM can help districts and schools respond to federal requirements for standards-based reform as well as fostering a culture of continuous improvement. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model is made up of three constructs, or dimensions: Stages of Concern, Levels of Use, and Innovation Configurations. This set of videos provides a basic introduction to each of the three dimensions. Appearing in these videos are three people who were instrumental in the development and testing of the CBAM when it was originally developed at the Research and Development Center for Teacher Education at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Concerns-Based Adoption Model is a conceptual framework that provides tools and techniques for assessing and facilitating reform in an educational environment. The dimensions of CBAM can be used to examine the components of an innovation, to track the progress of implementation, to report the findings objectively, and to design interventions or strategies that will move the process forward. Evaluators may also find these tools helpful in measuring the implementation of specific standards-based reforms.

Shirley Hord: "What the CBAM does, actually, is give people a set of lenses through which to view and understand the change process. The CBAM is based on a number of assumptions about the change process."

Archie George: "I think one of the most important concepts that CBAM stresses is that change is a process and not an event, and everything else follows from that, because the tools reinforce the attention to process, and from that perspective everything fits together."

Gene Hall: "Change is a personal experience; it is a personal feeling; personal frustrations, moments of joy, excitement, depression, discouragement that are part of change. So, if you want change to be successful, understanding that personal side becomes really important."

Shirley Hord: "What we fail almost always to do is to check up and to see how well teachers and administrators are using a new program or process in the school or in the classroom in order that we give them additional information and coaching and follow-up to help them improve what they are doing."

Narrator: The CBAM is made up of three dimensions. Stages of Concern: While implementing an innovation, teachers are likely to have concerns, whether they are personal concerns, management concerns, or concerns related to the impact of the innovation. Stages of Concern, sometimes called SoC, uses a questionnaire to help identify and describe the concerns teachers have during the implementation process.

Shirley Hord: "Stages of Concern is a way of accessing information about people's attitudes, or reactions, or feelings about a new program or a new practice. In other words, it is the affective domain -- what they are thinking about it or feeling about it."

Narrator: Levels of Use: Teachers will use an innovation to varying degrees. Some may only be thinking about using it. Some may be using the innovation in a very mechanical way, and some may be refining it for maximum impact. Levels of Use, also known as LoU, uses an interview protocol to assess the degree to which a teacher is using an innovation.

Archie George: "Mostly, the problems that come about with change from the CBAM perspective have to do with, not so much that the innovation is not well designed or not effective, but rather it's use is not at the highest level right from the beginning, and so those are the aspects that you want to improve."

Narrator: Innovation Configurations: Innovations are almost always altered by individual teachers to fit the conditions and needs of their students and classrooms. Innovation Configurations, or IC, is a tool for identifying and describing the various forms of an innovation that different teachers adopt.

Shirley Hord: "Innovation Configurations is a little bit different. What it does is to explicitly spell out what the new practice will look like when it is in operation in the classroom."

Narrator: Explore these videos to learn more about the three dimensions of CBAM. Then refer to the manuals for more detailed information. Although each dimension is self-contained and can be used independently, using the dimensions together provides a richer understanding of the process of reform in schools.

Shirley Hord: "If those schools and classrooms maintain their current operation of doing what they've been doing, they will get people getting the same results with their students, and so how CBAM then helps in that is to provide the tools and techniques whereby that change of new practice can happen, so that, hopefully, we get more improved results from students."