Includes bibliographical references. ; This dissertation undertook an investigation of school culture and achievement in the high school setting. The national data set ELS:2002 was used as the pool of variables because it allows for a complete picture of school culture comprising students, parents, administrators, and teachers. The data were selected based on current literature and subjected to an exploratory factor analysis to determine what, if any, underlying structure existed within the variables. This structure resulted in a new model which was subjected to confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling to determine its validity. The model was then subjected to a non-directional t-test to determine whether or not it was a predictor of math and reading. Results indicated that the model was valid and a predictor of both math and reading suggesting that a school culture comprised of student, parent, teacher, and administrator involvement can impact student achievement.
This paper uses the metaphor of "grafting " to describe the relationship of comprehensive school reform designs to the work culture of schools. One school reform model that has widespread implementation is the Success for All (SFA) reading program. The new practice provided in the SFA reading program offered a compatible "graft " onto the existing culture found in low achieving schools. The grafting on of a new program can only occur as long as its requirements do not stray from the existing traditions of the system. Schools adopt reform programs that offer procedural or curricular changes that fit within their existing systems. However, in schools, as in gardening, the graft cannot repair a damaged root. Rather, the growth of a successful graft is strengthened by a hearty rootstock, and the best "rootstock " is a healthy and supportive culture.
„Alle lebenden Systeme, alle sozialen Konstrukte und folglich auch Schulen sind nach von Foerster nicht-triviale Systeme. Sie sind hochkomplex und funktionieren eben nicht nach dem Input-Output-Prinzip, sondern verhalten sich operativ autonom.“ Schulen sind soziale Systeme, deren Reaktion auf Interventionen von außen – getreu der Systemtheorie und gemäß der praktischen Erfahrungen – kaum vorhersagbar, ja häufig überhaupt nicht messbar sind. Schulentwicklung ist demnach ein Prozess der einzelnen Schule, der allerdings in einer Systemumwelt stattfindet, die insofern gestaltet wird, dass die Erfüllung der gesellschaftlichen Aufgaben von Schule an allen Schulen gleichermaßen gewährleistet ist.
The purpose of this study was to assess the level of development of the five professional learning community (PLC) dimensions of Shared and Supportive Leadership, Shared Values and Vision, Collective Learning and Application, Shared Teaching Practices, and Supportive Conditions (Hord, 1996) as perceived by English and mathematics teachers and its relationship to subgroup student academic achievement in English language arts and mathematics. The Equitable Teaching Practice Survey (ETPS) was developed by the researcher to measure the equitable teaching practices employed as a result of teacher participation in the PLC and compared to Dimension 2, Shared Values and Vision and Dimension 3, Collective Learning and Application. Descriptive correlation research was conducted. A 17 item survey, School Professional Staff as Learning Community (Hord, 1996) and a 21item survey ETPS was used to collect the data regarding the five dimensions of a PLC and teaching practices associated with educational equity. It was administered to English and mathematics teachers in six urban high schools in one large school district. Student data were collected from the results of the 2006-2009 English language arts and mathematics assessments designed by the State of California Department of Education to meet the No Child Left Behind Act (2002) requirements for testing grades nine through twelve. The study found that Dimension 2, Shared Values and Vision and Dimension 3, Collective Learning and Application had a positive correlation with teaching practices associated with educational equity. The study also found no statistically significant correlations between subgroup academic achievement in English Language Arts and Mathematics, and teachers' perception of the level of development in the five dimensions of a PLC.
The overall aim of the study is to show, from an ethnographic point of view, the what, why and how of events in the daily life of the principals studied. The ambition is to try to understand the meaning of being a principal and the complex situation in which they op-erate. Some questions raised are: What do the principals’ working days look like? What constitutes the foundations of school leadership? What characterizes the context (the cul-tures) in which they work? Has gender any significance for school leadership? Earlier knowledge about leadership is mainly based on studies of male leaders, and or-ganizations are often considered as gender neutral. These circumstances make it urgent to study leadership from a gender perspective. Using an explorative, ethnographic approach with participant observations and recorded interviews seven principals were studied. Most of the data was collected during one and a half years of fieldwork, where the work of one female principal was observed. The result shows that leadership is a complex phenomenon. Relationships are seen as an essential aspect, and most of the daily work is accomplished through meetings and conver-sations with other people. The study illuminates how “a real principal” is constructed through relationships between many different individuals and groups. In this variety of sub-cultures different values and norms of behaviour are found. Schools can thus be regarded as multicultural organizations. Daily the principal has to try to understand, be aware of, and handle this cultural diversity. Partly as a consequence of this, emotions are constantly pre-sent in principals’ daily work. Principals have to deal with their own feelings as well as those of others. Contours of a gender contract are outlined, where cultural understandings of women and men become evident, and which the principals have to relate to.
"Die theoretisch begründete Skepsis gegenüber einer gelingenden Verbindung von Kunst und Schule steht realgeschichtlich einer vielgestaltigen kunstorientierten Arbeit an Schulen gegenüber, die derzeit durch den Ausbau der Ganztagsschule noch vorangetrieben wird. In diesem Beitrag werden Ergebnisse aus einer Schulkulturanalyse präsentiert, die das kunstbetonte Schulprogramm einer Regelgrundschule in einem sozialen Brennpunktgebiet als in die symbolische Ordnung der Schulkultur eingegangenes ausweisen. Weiterhin werden die aus der Kunstbetonung resultierenden schulkulturellen Strukturproblematiken und die zentralen strukturellen Widersprüche herausgearbeitet: Die Orientierung am realitätsentlasteten Modus ästhetischer Erfahrung legitimiert die Ausblendung der krisenhaften Einbettung der Schule. Diese Form der Krisenlösung stößt jedoch an strukturelle Grenzen, denn auch an einer kunstbetonten Schule bleibt die Schulkultur auf die Vermittlung universell gültiger Wissensbestände bezogen." (Autorenreferat)
This paper discusses some points of articulation between the management and the school culture as a path to advance in understanding of the real operation of the schools in contrasting and complex contexts. In this perspective, it is recognized that inside the centers are configured historically cultural codes, which maintain a dialectical relationship with the instrumentation of a policy, program or a plan of emerging nature oriented to the improvement of processes. The management and the school culture, therefore, form a central element of attention to investigate the different behaviors associated to the imperatives currently in progress relating to the quality, innovation, efficiency; which influence the practices of those who have the responsibility to carry out the emerging commitments of the education. ; El presente artículo discute algunos puntos de articulación entre la gestión y la cultura escolar como una vía necesaria para avanzar en la comprensión del funcionamiento real de las escuelas en contextos contrastantes y complejos. En tal perspectiva, se reconoce que al interior de los centros existen códigos culturales configurados históricamente, los cuales mantienen una relación dialéctica con la instrumentación de una política, un programa o un plan de carácter emergente orientado a la mejora de los procesos. La gestión y la cultura escolar, por tanto, constituyen elementos centrales de atención para indagar los diferentes comportamientos asociados a los imperativos actualmente en curso referidos a la calidad, la innovación, la eficiencia; los cuales influyen en las prácticas de quienes tienen la responsabilidad de llevar a cabo los compromisos emergentes de la educación.
The professional knowledge base is replete with theoretical postulations, research findings, and practitioner reflections on school improvement, school climate, and school culture. However, surprisingly little has been written that explains the complex role that school climate and culture can play in the school improvement process. The purpose of this article is to synthesize the professional knowledge base regarding the constructs of school climate and culture and to answer the following questions: How can leaders assess their school’s climate and culture? How do climate and culture affect, and how are they affected by, the school improvement process? and How can school leaders help to shape or develop cultures and climates that contribute to school improvement?
This module is designed to introduce educational leaders to an organizational assessment tool called a “culture audit.” Literature on organizational cultural competence suggests that culture audits are a valuable tool for determining how well school policies, programs, and practices respond to the needs of diverse groups and prepare students to interact globally. Data gathered from culture audits can guide school and community-wide strategic planning efforts to close achievement gaps, promote prosocial behaviors, and develop global competencies.