Presentation on theme: "Impacting School Culture: Examining Rituals, Traditions, & Ceremonies"— Presentation transcript:
1 Impacting School Culture: Examining Rituals, Traditions, & Ceremonies Character Education Partnership Conference 2006Impacting School Culture: Examining Rituals, Traditions, & CeremoniesBetsy Arnow, M.Ed., M.S.Stephanie Schneider, Ph.D.Lucy Vezzuto Anderson, Ph.D.Before session use the slides of the website and Ice teachers comments with upbeat music.9.15 Welcome and Introductions of FacilitatorsTM
2 Session GoalsLearn about the impact of a culture of community on learning and student well beingGain knowledge of how student ‘connectedness’ and student voice fosters learningExamine how rituals, ceremonies, and traditions send messages about core ethical valuesAssess the intention of your own classroom-school, rituals, traditions, and ceremoniesSession Overview: review outcomesBecome familiar with research findings on positive school culture and its corollaries of community, student ‘connectedness,’ and student voice and how these elements of a school culture links to academic success, and student well being.Examine how rituals, ceremonies, and traditions send messages about the school’s culture, its core ethical values, and desired student outcomes.Reflect upon their own school culture and/or classroom culture to analyze one or more of their rituals or traditions for the messages these are sending their students and the community.Discuss examples of school, classroom or broader community traditions and rituals from the group.
3 Who’s In the Room? Please introduce yourself and tell us: Your organizationYour roleWhy you came tothis sessionDepending on the numbers present, this activity can be modified.Attend to the reasons that participants are there and refer to as appropriate during the session.
4 Cohorts of teachers and administrators TMBuilding Cultures of Community Through Professional Development & ResearchCohorts of teachers and administratorsSchool wide and classroom practicesPractices that actualize social-emotional-character development and build communityCoaching and networkingTeacher efficacy researchThe ICE ContextHow we use this information about culture, community, and rituals in our professional development program.Cohort builds communitySchool community: Micro and macro levels that we work onPractices are from a literature review of promising practicesCoaching and networking is about support for each other as we do the work, enhance it and try to sustain it past funding.Stephanie can address the research : Link efficacy as a requirement to creating a positive school culture. Efficacious educators make things happen. Especially important in character-social-emotional development because of the necessity and power of the adult modeling impact. The student are watching what adults do ; how they act towards one another.Efficacy is also related to the adult understanding about the importance of the work of S-E-C development. There needs to be an awareness and understanding that educators are character educators too.
5 Professional Development Program Content TMProfessional Development Program ContentProfessional Ethical Learning Community (PELC)Intentional caring classroom communityInfusion into academic curriculumCooperative learningPerspective takingReflective thinking on social-moral issuesAuthentic student voice opportunitiesSocial-emotional learningContent illustrates that the approach is embedded in effective teaching practices and practices that build decision making, reflective thought, and promoting character development through actual practices that engage students in developing the behaviors that actualize character development. These reflect a comprehensive approach of building knowledge about character and SE skills, promoting and facilitating the affect or desire to practice these behaviors, and the actual practice itself.Cooperative learning: best research teaching practice in history of ed research. Clearly a way to engage students in the learning, build respect and responsibility, decision making, and student to student relationships. Antidote to the competitive structures that are present in our schools.Student voice opportunities have been viewed in the context of school reform as well. Authentic means that students have the opportunity to give feedback and ideas about decisions that affect them on campus. When asked students say, “Make them part of the solution and not the problem.”Later in the session, participants will be asked to reflect on their school culture and if they provide opportunities for students to participate, contribute, and be part of the problem solving processes on campus.
6 Teacher Efficacy: What We Did TMTeacher Efficacy: What We DidUsed Character Education Efficacy Belief Instrument (CEEBI)Administered CEEBI three times fromExamined scores for general and personal teacher efficacy each yearStephanie can address the research : Link efficacy as a requirement to creating a positive school culture.General efficacy – teachers as a whole can overcome environmental issues and impact students.Personal efficacy – “I” have the skills to impact my studentsFrom Milson and Mehlig, “Elementary School Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy for Character Education”, Journal of Educational Research, Sept-Oct Vol 96 No. 1 page 48.“Teacher persistence and motivation have been linked to the construct of teacher efficacy in that teachers with high levels of efficacy tend to exert more effort in teaching situations and tend to persist when faced with obstacles (Gibson & Dembo, 1984).”“Thus, a teacher’s efficacy beliefs are a combination of perceptions of personal influence and perceptions of the influence of factors external to the classroom. Both of these dimensions of efficacy are relevant to understanding a teacher’s approach to character education. A teacher who is motivated and persistent regarding character education is likely to believe in his or her own ability to build students’ character and the ability of teachers in general to overcome negative influences outside of the classroom.”
7 Teacher Efficacy: What We Found TMTeacher Efficacy: What We FoundFirst year – significant gains in personal efficacy (not in general efficacy)Second year – increase in confidence regarding how to use specific strategies that might lead to positive changes in students’ character (personal efficacy stays high)First year -- While teachers personally believed (and saw) that they could impact change, they realized that there are factors that are resistant to change (i.e. cannot be overcome in brief encounters with the students).Second year -- Changes were maintained, and teachers became comfortable with using specific strategies.Efficacious educators make things happen. Especially important in character-social-emotional development because of the necessity and power of the adult modeling impact. The student are watching what adults do ; how they act towards one another.Efficacy is also related to the adult understanding about the importance of the work of S-E-C development. There needs to be an awareness and understanding that educators are character educators too.Referring to Milson and Mehlig, “Elementary School Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy for Character Education”, Journal of Educational Research, Sept-Oct Vol 96 No. 1.ICE study had middle and high school participants as well as elementary.Little pre-service or in-service training of teachers for CE work; our significant findings related to the item, “I know how to use strategies that might lead to positive changes in students’ character” illustrate the importance of providing pedagogical skill-based professional development. It isn’t enough to have the personal efficacy that one can make a difference, one needs the knowledge and tools as well to make it happen for students.
8 School culture is a broader term than “climate” and provides a more accurate way to help school leaders better understand the dynamics of human behavior expressed in the school’s own “unwritten rules and traditions, norms and expectations that seem to permeate everything: the way people act, how they dress, what they talk about or avoid talking about, whether they seek out colleagues for help or don’t, and how teachers feel about their work and their students.” Deal and Peterson 1999 p2-3While the term ‘climate’ is used often to talk about environment for learning, culture is broader term that takes into account all the philosophy, behaviors, attitudes on a school campus.School cultures can vary in a district from school to school and are a function of the people and practices. Some rules are overt and some covert. Cultures evolve and change.In this presentation we are going to look at an aspect of culture as it is expressed in the planned daily procedures, rituals, long held or newly developed traditions and ceremonies.Are we being intentional about building our culture. We send messages through what we do. Sometimes these messages can be contradictory to our school’s mission and values. For example, a battle of the sexes day on a high school campus may not match with our culture of collaboration, and mutual support, and equity for all students. Another example, a mission of a school may state that student honesty is important and yet there may be policies that don’t have consistent criteria with consequences for cheating.
9 A Culture Of Community Engages students in learning Develops and models caring relationshipsIncreases prosocial skillsDecreases aggressive and at-risk behaviorsImproves academic achievementGardner 1991, Noddings 1992, Sergiovanni 1994,Berkowitz & Bier 2003; and othersThe default culture of a school that nurtures and supports learning is one of community. Community is good for the bottom line of learning and student achievement as well as nurturing S-E-C development.Community creates a place where we work together and support each other in meeting our goals; Needs to be intentional and purposely developed;Is about group development and inclusion, influence, and openness.Do students feel they belong, feel they can contribute and participate in the life of the school; have opportunity to get to know others well enough to share what they think and feel. In the extreme, we have seen students act out in very aggressive and lethal ways when they don’t feel a part of the community.Engaging: means that students learn together; do more than just sit and listen and do rote assignments. Projects are used; cooperation is encouraged through pedagogical structures such as partner sharing; team projects; and other cooperative learning structuresCaring relationships are the foundation for learning; supportive environment. This is related to students feeling that they are connected to school. There is someone who cares about them, knows their name, responds to them as a human being.Safe Communities-Safe School Initiative (D. Wilson), analyzed 9 middle and 10 high schools comparing effects of connectedness and climate measuring aggression and victimization. Findings: highly connected students were less likely to be perpetrators and victims of aggression than their less connected peers. This was true whether school climate was negative or positive. Positive school climate alone is not always sufficient in reducing aggression.When students are known and supported it is less likely they you be aggressive with one another. An anonymous face in the crowd is an easier target for bullying and aggressive behavior. IT is harder to disrespect someone that you know.
10 Strong, positive cultures are places with a shared sense of what is important, a shared ethos of caring and concern, and a shared commitment to helping students learn…Ken Peterson and Terence Deal, “How Leaders Influence the Culture of Schools.” Educational LeadershipThe vision is clear; it is shared by everyone.Principals and teachers at schools with positive cultures often say: no child slips through the cracks; we are dedicated to make sure that each student is known and feels like this is their school and that we will do what it takes to help them learn. This is the ethos of the Professional learning community.
11 Research Supports…What many educators have always understood intuitively: academic performance is strongly linked to whether students’ basic developmental needs are met---needs such as health, security, respect, and love.R and D Alert, A publication of WestEd, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 2Intuitively effective educators know this. This is related to Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs.Ex. There are educators who don’t get this fact. The math teacher who thought that his math test was more important than counseling a student who was on suicide watch.
12 When students basic developmental needs are met... they feel more connected to school.These basic human needs when met contribute to students feeling connected to school.Connectedness has also been described as bonding, attachment and engagement. It contributes to healthy development. The Social Development Research Group (Catalano et al) of the University of Washington describes two components of connectedness: 1) attachment, characterized by close affective relationships with those at school and 2) Commitment, characterized by an investment in school and doing well in school. 20 years of longitudinal studies show the long-term positive impacts of increasing school bonding on reducing health risk behaviors and improving social and educational outcomes for children. Let’s look at the student perspective of what connectedness means in the school culture.
13 A Foundation for Learning “ ‘School connectedness’ refers to the belief by students that adults in the school care about their learning and about them as individuals.”National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Drug Preventionand School Safety Program CoordinatorsLet audience read while listening to a music clip to the next seven slides.
14 Students Who Experience School Connectedness… Like School & Feel Engaged in Learning
15 Students Who Experience School Connectedness… Feel They Belong and Are Respected
16 Students Who Experience School Connectedness… Believe Teachers Care About Them And Their Learning
17 Students Who Experience School Connectedness… Believe That Education Matters
18 Students Who Experience School Connectedness… Have Friends At School
19 Students Who Experience School Connectedness… Feel Safe At School
20 Students Who Experience School Connectedness… Have a Voice in School Decisions
21 Students Who Experience School Connectedness… Believe That Discipline Is Fair
22 Students Who Experience School Connectedness… Have Opportunities to Participate in Extra Curricular Activities Robert Blum, Educational Leadership, April 2005
23 Say SomethingTurn to a partner and say something about how a school builds a culture of community and connectedness.About 2 minutes total; use timer
24 Time Out for Reflection Please complete the survey “Your School Culture.”When completed, jot down two things you notice about your responses.Time for you to reflect upon your own school setting. If you aren’t based at a school now you can think about the school that you were working at or a school that you know, possibly your child’s school.This is a tool that can be used so we gave you two copies one to keep blank.This is a powerful tool when done by several school constituencies and responses are compared so that there is a perception check. Do both students and adults on campus have the same view of how students are treated for example.Take this now individually and then when you neighbor is done share what you noticed about your responses. You may even think of more items to add if you decide to take this back and use it.You will have about 4 minutes to complete and 2 minutes to talk it over.If time, ask group for any thoughts about the tool and their insights.
25 School cultures are complex webs of traditions and rituals that have built up over time as teachers, students, parents, and administrators work together and deal with crises and accomplishments. Schein, 1985; Deal and Peterson 1990 as quoted in Deal and Peterson 1999 p. 4So what are school cultures? Include the big and the small activities, events, and relationships. Culture is about the shared meaning the institution creates.Shared understandings are actualized as norms which can be negative or positive: Positive norms: treat people with respect; Try to initiative change to make improvements; encourage those who have new ideas; don’t criticize the school or community in front of students. They can be negative norms too: don’t make waves; don’t disagree with the principal; look busy and innovative when your not.Today we invite you to look deeper and focus in on the intention of the rituals, traditions and ceremonies that make up a schools’ culture. RTC send messages to the adults and students at school and wider community about what is important, what we care about, what we honor and reward, what we sanction. Through them we touch base with our core values and are bonded together with each other.Our message at this session is: take a look at the RTC that occur at all levels of school community; classroom, departments, school wide, relationships with outside community. Are you intentional and purposeful about the RTC that occur? Are you aware of the messages and values that are sent by your RTC?Do the RTC all resonate and promote your school mission and values. Do they summon the spirit of learning and equity and democracy and fairness. Are the RTC’s consistent with the values that you want to promote? Do you know the values that you want to promote through your norms, rituals, traditions, and ceremonies?
26 “In the past few decades, in the name of educational reform, we have managed to sterilize schools of the symbolic acts that help culture survive and thrive.”“More than ever, we need to revive ritual and ceremony as the spiritual fuel we need to energize and put more life back into our schools. Learning is fostered in large part by strong traditions, frequent ritual, and poignant ceremonies to reinvigorate cultural cohesion and focus.” Shaping School Culture by Terrence E. Deal and Kent D. PetersonDeal and Peterson studied lots of schools. (Show their book as one of the resources cited.) They found schools with both positive and negative cultures. Read aloud the quote. They believe that at some schools ritual and ceremony have fallen by the wayside in favor of a total focus on structure and rationality. There is a belief that RTC are fluff and not about the important work. But they contend that the spiritual core, the positive culture community needs to be restored and nurtured at every school.They suggest that restoring the mythology and magic of education is needed to restore educators belief in themselves and the public’s belief in public education. They say that the key lies in the culture of the schools-the shard meaning that is created, fostered and promoted. School restructuring efforts alone will not achieve the level of success with out ‘remystifying’ and ‘reculturing’ classrooms and schools.They suggest that we need to recapture the mythology of education that launched the public school system in this country: schools should be a place to create a sense of community, each student should be able to realize his/her potential; each student has promise: each student can become a greater American. P 30So let’s look deeper at the signposts of a school’s culture; the R, T, and C.
27 What Messages Are We Sending? RitualsTraditions Ceremonies
28 RitualsRituals are procedures or routines that are infused with deeper meaning. They help make common experiences uncommon events. Every school has hundreds of routines, from the taking of attendance in the morning to the exiting procedures used in the afternoon. But when these routine events can be connected to a school's mission and values, they summon spirit and reinforce cultural ties.Deal and Peterson 1999Allow silence for reading or read aloud.Ask for brief examples from the audience.Examples of Rituals from CE Fellow:Each Monday there is a new quote on the board and a question relating to it. The students know to look there and begin their day by journaling. Then we briefly discuss it. Each day that week a new question is added to the quote for reflection.The messages this ritual sends: we have an order to our day; it starts with thoughtful reflection; what you think is important.The values underlying: being responsible; perseverance to go deeper with your learning; openness to listen to others ideasStudent outcomes: reflective thinkers, deepen their understanding.
29 TraditionsTraditions are significant events that have a special history and meaning and that occur year in and year out. Traditions are a part of the history; they reinvigorate the culture and symbolize it to insiders and outsiders alike. They take on the mantle of history, carrying meaning on their shoulders. When people have traditions that they value and appreciate it gives them a foundation to weather challenges, difficulties, and change Deal and Peterson 1999Allow silence for reading or read aloud.Ask for brief examples from the audience.Example from Oxford Academy:Seniors Watching the Sunset on the Beach; a culminating event that has become a tradition at a high school. Symbolizes the sunset of their high school years, but the beginning of their post high school life.Messages it sends: you are important; this is a rite of passage or marker of an important time in your lifeUnderlying values: change is Ok; sharing and respect among friends, adults, and class mates; loyalty to your class; courage to carry on in the face of changeStudent outcomes: bonding with classmates and teachers; recognize this is the beginning of the next stage in life; participate in a celebration
30 CeremoniesCeremonies are complex, culturally sanctioned ways that a school celebrates successes, communicates its values, and recognizes special contributions of staff and students. Successful ceremonies are carefully designed and arranged to communicate values, celebrate core accomplishments, and build a tight sense of community.Allow silence for reading or read aloud.Ask for brief examples from the audience.Example: Effort award assemblies where students in academic and non-academic subjects are honored for their efforts, for their progress and perseveranceMessages: all students are important; we recognize many different kinds of student potential not just academics; we celebrate together and for each otherUnderlying values: cohesiveness, responsibility, perseverance, industriousness, respect; democraticStudent outcomes: feel appreciated, honored, valued for who they are and what they do;Deal and Peterson 1999
31 Rituals What is the ritual? What messages are we sending? What are the underlying values?What are the desired student outcomes?Students cannot leave class to go to their locker.Plan ahead.Be prepared for class.Respect for class timeTo become responsibleReview the example on the slide.If needed : Examples of Rituals from CE Fellow:Every two weeks our class has a class meeting and we discuss a problem or issue that the students suggest. We go through stages of problem solving and then at the end we publicly commit to try one of the solutions that we resolved.In an alternative education setting classroom, each new student is welcomed with a 30 minute “teacher to student engagement session” where the student is oriented to the classroom behavior expectations, routines, and procedures. At the end of the session, the teacher invites the student to join the community to maintain the integrity of their classroom.I greet my students everyday at the door, make eye contact and say their name.
32 Say SomethingTurn to a partner and share your ritual, tradition, or ceremony and the messages it sends.After reviewing the example on the slide, Then ask participants to use their handout to analyze a ritual, tradition or ceremony. Give them about 3 minutes, then ask them to share with their neighbor for 1-2 minutes.Depending on time, ask for examples to share and discuss with the whole group.
33 Session GoalsLearn about the impact of a culture of community on learning and student well beingGain knowledge of how student ‘connectedness’ and student voice fosters learningExamine how rituals, ceremonies, and traditions send messages about core ethical valuesAssess the intention of your own classroom-school, rituals, traditions, and ceremoniesSession Overview: review outcomes and ask for questions. Fill out our assessment sheet.Become familiar with research findings on positive school culture and its corollaries of community, student ‘connectedness,’ and student voice and how these elements of a school culture links to academic success, and student well being.Examine how rituals, ceremonies, and traditions send messages about the school’s culture, its core ethical values, and desired student outcomes.Reflect upon their own school culture and/or classroom culture to analyze one or more of their rituals or traditions for the messages these are sending their students and the community.Discuss examples of school, classroom or broader community traditions and rituals from the group.
34 ResourcesBuilding Community In Schools by Thomas J. Sergiovanni. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1994.Building Learning Communities with Character: How to Integrate Academic, Social and Emotional Learning by B. Novick, J.S. Kress, and M.J. Elias. ASCD 2002.Evaluating Character Development: 51 Tools for Measuring Success by Edward F. DeRoche. Character Development Group, IncShaping School Culture: the Heart of Leadership by T. E. Deal and K. D. Peterson. Jossey-Bass 1999.The Challenge To Care In Schools : An Alternative Approach To Education by Nel Noddings. In Advances in Contemporary Educational Thought Series; v. 8. New York: Teachers College Press, 1992.The Intentional School Culture: Building Excellence in Academics & Character by Charles Elbot and Dave Fulton. Office of Character and School Culture, Denver Public Schools 2005.What Works In Character Education: A Research-based Guide For Practitioners by M. W. Berkowitz, & M. Bier, Washington, DC: Character Education Partnership 2005.These are some of the resources used in developing this presentation.
35 Please complete The Minute Review Ask audience to complete the minute review for our professional growth and improvement.
36 Contact Institute for Character Education http://charactered.ocde.us Betsy Arnow, M.Ed., M.S.Project DirectorStephanie Schneider, Ph.D.Coordinator, Assessment and AccountabilityLucy Vezzuto Anderson, Ph.D.Coordinator, Research & DevelopmentTMOrange County Dept. of Education 200 Kalmus Costa Mesa, CA