What creates the motivation to change?

By Thomas Arnett
February 2019
Vol. 40 No. 1
Laura loved teaching. She loved getting to know her kindergarten students, doing hands-on activities with them, and coming up with creative ideas for lesson plans. But when her district kicked off its blended learning program, she felt lost, confused, and anxious in her own classroom. As a blended learning teacher, she was supposed to incorporate online learning software into her reading and math lessons at least twice a week. But as someone with self-professed zero technical savvy, she felt petrified by the notion of using computers with her students. How could she help them use software she did not understand herself? How would she deal with the inevitable technical difficulties that could quickly derail her classroom management? Most important, how could she have confidence that

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Thomas Arnett

Thomas Arnett ( is senior research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute.


Arnett, T., Moesta, B., & Horn, M.H. (2018, September). The teacher’s quest for progress: How school leaders can motivate instructional innovation. Clayton Christensen Institute. Available at

Christensen, C.M., Dillon, K., Hall, T., & Duncan, D.S. (2016). Competing against luck: The story of innovation and customer choice. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Senior Research Fellow at Clayton Christensen Institute | + posts

Thomas Arnett's work focuses on studying innovations that amplify educator capacity, documenting barriers to K-12 innovation, and identifying disruptive innovations in education. He previously served as a trustee and board president for the Morgan Hill Unified School District in Morgan Hill, California, worked as an Education Pioneers fellow with the Achievement First Public Charter Schools, and taught middle school math as a Teach For America teacher in Kansas City Public Schools.

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