Change Orientation Scale

The Faculty Change Orientation Scale (FCOS) is a measure of the faculty's perceptions of change in schools. In particular, the scale focuses on teachers' perceptions of three important aspects of change in a school:

  1. Faculty openness to change
  2. Principal openness to change
  3. Community press for change

Reliability and Validity of the FCOS

The faculty is asked to describe the change orientations of teachers, the principal, and community along a six-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree - the higher the score, the greater the extent of openness to change or the greater the community press for change.

The FCOS is a 19-item Likert-type scale that measures the degree to which the faculty of a school perceives 1) teachers being open to change, 2) their principal being open to change, and 3) the community pressing for change.

The reliabilities of the three scales are strong with the following alpha coefficients: faculty openness to change (.95), principal openness to change (.87), and community press for change (.87) (Kearney & Smith, 2008).

Validity of the FOS has also been supported in a series of factor analytic studies (Kearney & Smith, 2008) and predictive studies.

Scoring Key for the FCOS

  1. Score each item 1-6 from strongly disagree-strongly agree.
  2. Reverse score items 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 19 (items below with asterisks). Reverse score means 1=6, 2=5, 3=4, 4=3, 5=2, 6=1.
  3. Faculty openness to change?items 1, 2, 5, 6*, 8, 10*, 13*, 14*, 15
  4. Principal openness to change ?items 3*, 7*, 9, 11*, 12, 19*
  5. Community press for change?items 4, 16, 17, 18*
  6. Compute the individual teacher score for each of the three subscales. That is, add the item scores (after the appropriate items have been reversed) in each subtest and divide by the number of items. You now have an individual teacher score for the three scales.
  7. Next compute the faculty score for each subtest by averaging the individual scores in each school. You now have the faculty score on each subscale for each school.


Kearney, S., & Smith P. A. (2008). A theoretical and empirical analysis of change orientations in schools. In Wayne K. Hoy & Michael DiPaola (eds.). Studies in School Improvement.. Greenwich, CN: Information Age.

Ohio State School of Education
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Click here to get a copy of the Change Scale (FCOS)

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