Kick it up a notch with CBAM!!

I am taking an initial look at the Concern-based Adoption Model by Hall and Hord. It is described as a conceptual framework that describes, explains and predicts probable teacher behaviours throughout the change process in a school or educational institution. (SEDL, 2013).

The three main diagnostic dimensions of CBAM are:

  • Stages of Concern – Seven different stages of feelings and perceptions that educators experience when they are implementing a new program or practice
  • Levels of Use – Eight behavioural profiles that describe a different set of actions and behaviours that educators engage in as they become more familiar with and more skilled in using an innovation or adopting a change
  • Innovation Configurations – Different ways an innovation may be implemented, shown along a continuum from ideal implementation or practice to least desirable practice

These three dimensions are clearly explained in three videos available from the SEDL website (2013) linked below. If you would like to get a my in depth, detailed understanding of the these diagnostics dimensions, please take a moment to click over and review the videos.

At my current workplace, I can definitely see many opportunities where this framework could be applied and used to have a clearer sense of how our adoption of technology in our education system is progressing and possibly take more positive steps to continue moving forward.

I can see that this model could be applied to our understanding of the adoption of SMARTboards in our secondary school. SMARTboards have been made available at my school for many years now. The adoption and use of them in educational setting definitely range. We have educators that would likely fall into stage “0” where truthfully they do not recognize any concerns that SMARTboards would address at all, all the way  to stage “5” where educators are using them collaboratively with other classes within the building and outside the building as well. (National Academy of Science, 2005)

Just from my own personal anecdotal observation, I am fairly confident that the same could be said about educators at my school and their levels of use of the technology, in this case the SMARTboard.

I think the understanding and measuring of where my school’s educators would fall in these various stages and levels would be very useful in continuing to move our staff towards more effective use of SMARTboards.

I think the most interesting part for me would be to take a close look at the third dimension of inovation configuration and see how educators in both in our school and in others have decided to use the technology in their settings. It is alway quite amazing to me the many ways they do. One interesting example that comes to mind is where one of our math teacher uses the SMARTboard along with a webcam to collaborate with another school, to have students interact with live statistics that are relevant to them right in their classroom. I am sure that this is only one of many creative and effective ways to implement the SMARTboard


National Academy of Science (2005) The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM): A Model for Change in Individuals. Retrieved from

Stages of Concern, a dimension of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model. Retrieved from

Levels of Use, a dimension of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model. Retrieved from

Innovation Configurations, a dimension of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model. Retrieved from

SEDL (2013) Concern-Based Adoption Model: CBAM. Retrieved from

Adapted from Hord, S. M., Rutherford, William L., Huling-Austin, Leslie and Hall, G. E. (1987) with additional modifications by Noel LeJeune. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM): A Model for Change in Individuals. Retrieved from


5 thoughts on “Kick it up a notch with CBAM!!

  1. Wow this was a great post! I really like the graphic that you incorporated, it really sums up what CBAM is all about in a sequential fashion. I have never used a SMARTboard, but I would like the opportunity to work with one. One of my fellow teachers works at another school in the morning, and she said that every single classroom has a SMARTboard. She teaches kindergarten, and she uses it frequently with her students. I can only think of the possibilities of using these devices! Thanks for the great post!

  2. Great post Colin. Your example of SmartBoards reminds me of my own organization (healthcare) where there have been SmartBoards for several years, but many have not adopted or accepted using the technology. Many staff are still at the Routine level with only a small number at the Integration level taking full advantage of the features of this technology.

  3. Using the CBAM model/theory would probably be very effective with SMARTboards/interactive whiteboards in the highschools.

    I believe that there has been greater diffusion of this technology in elementary schools than high schools from what I have observed in my own board. My daughter (Grade 10) and my nephew (grade 12) – both attend different high schools in our town. I have visited both schools – it appears that there are SMARTboards/interactive whiteboards in the math, science and computer classrooms, but in few others. In contrast, there is an interactive whiteboard in most elementary classrooms in our board. I wonder if the SMARTboard technology has been adopted more at the elementary level, because of the range of subjects we teach in the younger grades…. hence the greater diffusion in elementary schools of this technology at this time.

  4. I explored CBAM application to a similar workplace issue (technology integration) however was more focused on the other two CBAM phases: SoC and LoU. Interesting how the tools can be used to address an issue from differing angles. Have you considered whether or not the school staff are receptive to the idea of integrating SMART board technologies onto programming? I wonder how this would impact progress even if the culture was supportive in terms of the findings of the LoU? Great blog entry – very thought provoking for me!

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