Possibilities and pitfalls of practitioners in trying to apply change theory as viewed through the lens of Reinholz, White, and Andrews “Change theory in STEM higher education: a systematic review International Journal of STEM Education. 2023;10:53.
International Journal of STEM Education. 2023;10:53.
This work is supported by the National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education under Grant No. 1819235.
In their 2021 review paper, Reinholz, White, and Andrews noted that change efforts in STEM higher education do not engage deeply in change theory to guide interventions and research efforts, leading to disjointed attempts to influence change and a proliferation of theories. This superficial use of theory and tendency toward disjointed approaches creates barriers to generalized knowledge about change that can be applied by practitioners desiring to bring about change in their particular context. Reinholz and Andrews (2020) point out that the key elements of a theory of change include context, interventions, and indicators while considering rationale and assumptions in a specific project. Any project’s theory of change should be informed by change theory, and Reinholz et al. (2021) provide a systematic review of the change theories upon which a particular project might draw.