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SCHOOL CULTURE The Missing Link in School Improvement.

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Presentation on theme: "SCHOOL CULTURE The Missing Link in School Improvement."— Presentation transcript:

1 SCHOOL CULTURE The Missing Link in School Improvement

2 R EFLECT ON THE C ULTURE OF Y OUR S CHOOL Good Things Not So Good Things Take two minutes to list

3 H OW S CHOOL C ULTURE IS L IKE AN A QUARIUM ….. If the Fish in the Aquarium are Getting Sick Don’t blame the Fish Fish need a health environment to thrive and grow Fish school together for support and protection’ Fish will prosper when the temperature of the water is ideal The water must be clean and free of toxic substances Not all fish have the same needs Fish in the aquarium are helpless in efforts to improve their environment

4 W HAT IS SCHOOL CULTURE What is School Culture? Deal and Peterson (1993) have offered the most succinct definition of school culture. They simply state it is an "inner reality."Robbins and Alvy (1995) expand the definition by stating that "This inner reality reflects what organizational members care about, what they are willing to spend time doing, what and how they celebrate, and what they talk about. "

5 H OW TO T ELL IF THE C ULTURE IN THE A QUARIUM (S CHOOL ) IS T OXIC The Staff is overwhelmed and have exhausted all of their efforts to improve scores. Teaching and leading a school has lost its joy and become one of drudgery favoring a “just a job” mentality. Tension and stress abound. Everyone plays the “Blame Game”. Isolation Abounds in the school.

6 G UIDING QUESTION TO A SK ABOUT Y OUR S CHOOL CULTURE Are you striving for a positive school climate supported by a spirited staff? Is your school focused on teamwork and collegiality? Are all stakeholders involved in the process? Do you struggle to attain higher levels of student achievement year after year?

7 School Culture Every school has one and every school can improve it’s culture. What is School Culture People more important than programs How people treat one another How people value one another Accumulation of many individuals‘ values and norms Consensus about what is important The way we do things “Around Here” Shared Experiences Common Vision and Mission School’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviors which characterize a scho ol

8 CULTURE VS CLIMATE P ETERSON ( 2002) Personality of school Shared experiences (both in and outside the school) Traditions Celebrations Sense of Community Norms, Values, Symbols and Stories Physical Appearance Outward Indicators Displays of student work Safe and welcoming environment CULTURECLIMATE

9 F OUR S TEPS TO IMPROVING S CHOOL C ULTURE Assess the current culture Analyze the findings Select Areas for improvement Continue to monitor and adjust

10 A SSESS THE CURRENT CULTURE Needs to Assess… the Three Major Indicators of School Culture. COLLABORATION i s characterized as the degree to which people work together, share information and instructional strategies, and are encouraged to have constructive discussions and debates. Professional Collaboration …Teachers and other staff meet to solve instructional, organizational or curricular issues.

11 A FFILIATION AND C OLLEGIALITY COLLEGIALITY is about a sense of belonging, emotional support, and inclusion as a valued member of the organization. Affiliation and Collegiality …Working together, feeling valued and included, and a sense of value and belonging.

12 E FFICACY AND D ETERMINATION EFFICACY, for the purpose of this process, tends to focus on how stakeholders' view themselves. Do they feel as if they have control of their destinies or do they view themselves as helpless victims of "the system?" Do they respect research-supported evidence about good teaching or are they rigidly attached to the status quo? Efficacy and Determinatio n…I am in this school because I want to be here.

13 A NALYSIS Find out what areas need immediate attention Make modifications and improvements Maintain the fine qualities of the school’s culture Celebrate the excellent parts of the school’s culture Continue to find ways to improve

14 S ELECT A REAS FOR IMPROVEMENT Select Areas through Collaboration involving all stakeholders. Creating a collaborative culture has been described as the single most important factor for successful improvement and represent the 1 st order of business for those seeking to enhance the school’s effectiveness. --Rick DuFour (2002)

15 MONITOR AND ADJUST School Culture can be compared to a personal relationship Regularly Strengthened and supported Promote continuous improvement philosophy Periodic Adjustments

16 A RTICLE J IGSAW A CTIVITY Read the 4 articles related to school culture(15 minutes) Barth…. Culture Builder Reeves… How Do You Change a School Culture Wagner… Leadership for and Improved School Culture Peterson… Positive or Negative Return to group and tell the group the highlights of your article (2 minutes for each article) Produce a Group MIT CHART ( Most Important Things) of 10 and star the top three (3) Report out to whole group

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