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Presentation on theme: "University of Wisconsin-Madison"— Presentation transcript:

1 University of Wisconsin-Madison
Shaping Positive and Transforming Negative School Cultures in International Schools NESA Conference Istanbul, Turkey Dr. Kent D. Peterson University of Wisconsin-Madison Emeritus Professor 2014

2 Dear Diary, Please allow every teacher to realize what awesome power they hold in their hands and that they are the doors through which whole new worlds of possibility can open for their students. That by understanding students, day to day, and not judging them or shutting out the many opportunities for their success teachers can, and often do, make all the difference Sandi Redenbach (Autobiography of a Dropout)

3 Culture is a Powerful Force
School culture influences how people think, feel, and act. Culture shapes focus, commitment, motivation, and student success.

4 Culture exists in any organization in which people share some history
Culture exists in any organization in which people share some history. It develops as people work together, solve problems, cope with conflicts, achieve successes, and deal with tragedy. (Schein, 1985; Deal and Peterson, 2009)

5 Culture and Effectiveness
“At a deeper level, all organizations, especially schools, improve performance by fostering a shared system of norms folkways, values, and traditions. These infuse the enterprise with passion, purpose, and a sense of spirit. Without a strong, positive culture, schools flounder and die.” (Peterson and Deal, 2002, p. 7)

6 CULTURE ?? Climate ?? or Both?

7 "School culture is like soil and structure is like a seed
"School culture is like soil and structure is like a seed.  If the soil is healthy the seed will grow, if the soil is toxic the seed will die." (Anthony Muhammad)

8 School Culture and Achievement
Reinforces school improvement actions Creates trust, collegiality, and sense of community Fosters teacher learning Enhances student engagement and academic achievement (See research detailed in Deal and Peterson; Louis and Leithwood; Fullan; Tschannen-Moran; Hargreaves; Bryk; and others.)

9 Elements of Culture Norms, Values and Beliefs that underlie thinking, feeling and acting Symbols and Artifacts that Communicate Meaning Stories that Herald Values Cultural Networks Heroes and Heroines Rituals, Traditions, and Ceremonies “Culture is ”The way we do things around here!” (Bowers)

10 Types of Culture Positive—Negative Strong—Weak
Learning-Growing—Static-Floating—Toxic-Dying Organizationally Joyous—Organizationally “Depressed” Coherent--Fragmented

11 Elements of Toxic or Dysfunctional Cultures
Negative or dysfunctional values or beliefs Little sense of shared purpose Existence of negative relationships The presence of negative or hostile members Few heroes or heroines--or unrecognized ones Shallow or meaningless ceremonies and traditions Harmful stories or a jaded sense of history Little laughter or camaraderie The existence of aspects of these

12 Leader’s Actions to Address Culture
READ the culture; its past and present. ASSESS effectiveness of cultural elements. SHAPE the culture by reinforcing the positive and transforming the negative.

13 Unpacking Core Values What makes a good day? What makes a good week?
What makes a good year?

14 Symbols and Artifacts Communicate Meaning
The school logo should communicate core values. The entryway to the school can reinforce the purpose of the school. The display of student work reinforces hard work, meaning and purpose to students. Historical artifacts of school accomplishments supports a sense of commitment to the values of the school’s mission.






20 Presidio Hill School

21 Riverstone International School


23 “Walk the Halls and Talk to the Walls”
Imagine you are new to the school. Walk outside and leave your “To Do List” at home. Now, walk through the school. What to you see, hear, and feel? What messages are sent by what is on the walls and what is going on in the classrooms? What does this tell you about the culture? What should be kept and what should be changed?

24 Stories and the Culture
Stories are the foundation of a culture. Stories communicate purpose, reinforce success, and maintain traditions. What are the histories, myths, and stories of the culture? Discuss the key stories to tell newcomers that reinforce the culture.

25 Positive Informal Network
Heroines and Heroes Storytellers Gossips and “Social Media Specialists” Keepers of the Dream Navigators and Compasses Spirit Guides (Deal and Peterson, 2009)

26 Toxic Informal Network
Anti-Heroes and Anti-Heroines Pessimistic Storytellers Rumor Mongers “Keepers of the Nightmare” Negaholics and Naysayers (Carter-Scott, 1989) Prima Donnas-Prima Donalds Space Cadets Martyrs Deadwood, Driftwood, Ballast Saboteurs Rogue Pirates Resource Vultures (Deal and Peterson, 2009)

27 Cultural Networks Transmit Values to Students, Staff, and Community
Positive cultural networks should be nurtured and given time to thrive. Dysfunctional roles should be counteracted.

28 Making the Informal Network Effective
Know who resides in each role. Provide stages for storytellers. Recognize heroes and heroines. Use Gossips to pass positive information. Work to counteract the negative impact of hostile roles. =================================== Discuss: Who are the members of your informal networks? How to you work with them to foster learning?

29 The Special Case of Millennials
Desire for flexibility Orientation to teams Intense Social Media communicators Wish for work and life balance Need to regular contact, feedback, support, and recognition ???How do they fit in your culture??? What do you to bring Millennials into your culture? (; see Brack, 2012)

30 Using Social Media to Shape the Culture
Communicating, reinforcing, and celebrating the culture through multiple medias Face-to-Face Contact Handwritten Notes YouTube videos Twitter Stories and Texting Snapchat Vine Instagram

31 Community Exemplars Model Core Values: A Heroine or Hero
Those who are deeply respected by all. Their actions mirror core values and commitments. Remembered fondly. Their lives are the stuff of legend. Exemplars of what is best about the school.

32 Share a Story of a Heroine or Hero

33 Rituals, Traditions, Ceremonies, and Celebrations
Rituals are regular routines. Traditions occur yearly and bring people together. Ceremonies and Celebrations are larger events. These events are crucial times to communicate and reinforce core values, beliefs, and purpose. Without these cultural events, the culture can stagnate, wither, or die.

34 The Importance of Ceremonies and Celebrations
Reinforce Values Build Culture and Community Recharge Motivation Communicate Purpose Celebrate Successes

35 Types of Celebrations Welcoming Staff Beginning of Year Fall Solstice
End of Break Host Country Traditions Ethnic Events Recognition Ceremonies Retirements or Departures End-of-Year Gatherings Large and Small Successes

36 Elements of Ceremonies
A special and value-linked purpose Symbolic clothing and adornments Symbols, signs, banners, flags Stories and sagas Music Setting and Decorations Food and drink Special language and tone Message of hope and recognition

37 Map Your Ceremonies and Celebrations Over the Year

38 Analyzing Ceremonies and Celebrations
As you examine your “map,” what are the core values and beliefs communicated in the ceremonies and celebrations? Are new messages needed? Are the activities in tune with the message? Are new ceremonies or celebrations needed to be scheduled?

39 Ways of Reading Your Culture
List Six Adjectives to describe your school. Think of a song that depicts your culture. Create a metaphor… If my school were an animal, it would be a _______ because_________________________. Conduct a school history. Conduct an “Educational Garage Sale” Interview a school’s storytellers.

40 Conduct a School History
Major Events Key Formal and Informal Leaders Ideas about Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment Technology and its Transformation Key Successes and Challenges Rituals, Traditions, and Ceremonies Students, Community, and Locale Major Events and Changes People and Personalities Clothing, Hairstyles, Music of the Time

41 Conducting an Educational Garage Sale
Purpose: To assess the culture. Stations of the Sale: Museum, Not For Sale, Repair Shop, Reclamation Station, Garbage Can, Toxic Waste Hauler Individuals place items in each station. Discuss the items, prioritize positive ones and negative ones, then make a plan to address the issues (Peterson and Deal, 2009)

42 Shaping School Culture
Hiring and Socialization Recounting History and Telling Stories Communicating Vision and Values Walking the Talk; Modeling Values Transforming Dysfunctional Cultures Making All Leaders Culture Shapers Celebrating Accomplishments

43 8 Culture Shaping Roles Anthropologist Historian Visionary Symbol
Potter Poet Actor Healer (Deal and Peterson, 2009)

44 Effective and Less Used Roles
Which roles are you most effective? When do you take on these roles? Which roles are less used? Which roles would you like to use more or to strengthen further?

45 “Teachers usually have no way of knowing that they have made a difference in a child’s life, even when they have made a dramatic one… Good teachers put snags in the river of children passing by, and, over the years, they redirect hundreds of lives… [Great schools are] made up of people who can never really know the good they have done.” Kidder (1989): Among Schoolchildren

46 Thank you for your energy, hard work, and collaboration today
Thank you for your energy, hard work, and collaboration today. Good luck as you return home to serve your schools!

47 These materials have been developed by the presenter with parts adapted from work by Kent Peterson, Terrence Deal and Pam Robbins. Please appropriately cite the source if utilizing them to serve your schools.

48 Resources and Research
Kent Peterson and Deal, Terrence. 2nd Edition (2009). The Shaping School Culture Fieldbook. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Deal, Terrence and Peterson, Kent. 2nd Edition (2009). Shaping School Culture: Pitfalls, Paradoxes, and Promises. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Muhammad, Anthony. (2009). Transforming School Culture. Solution Tree. Kruse, Sharon and Louis, Karen. (2008). Building Strong School Cultures. Corwin Press. See books by Pam Robbins and Harvey Alvy, Fullan, and Others.

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