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Studying and Shaping Culture as a Key Component for School Improvement Glenna Heinlein, WVDE Mary Lu MacCorkle, WVDE State School Improvement Specialist.

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Presentation on theme: "Studying and Shaping Culture as a Key Component for School Improvement Glenna Heinlein, WVDE Mary Lu MacCorkle, WVDE State School Improvement Specialist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Studying and Shaping Culture as a Key Component for School Improvement Glenna Heinlein, WVDE Mary Lu MacCorkle, WVDE State School Improvement Specialist

2 What is our job? When someone says to you, “What is your job all about?” what do you tell them? “Helping schools provide the very best learning for every student.”

3 Data Collaborative Conversations Collective Commitment Collective Efficacy Instructional/Engagement Change Kids See Their Learning Is Different/Better “Student Sees Success” Student Self Efficacy IMPACTS STUDENT ACADEMIC SUCCESS TRUST

4 Continuous Improvement How does a school create an inclusive & collaborative process of continuous school improvement?

5 STUDENT SUCCESS ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP  Principal  Administrative Team  Faculty Leadership  Student Leadership  Parent Leadership  Community Leadership  District Leadership ORGANIZATIONAL PEDAGOGY  Curriculum  Instruction  Assessment  Knowledge of student learning CARING, COLLABORATIVE CULTURE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES  Change Processes  Program Delivery  Policies  Resource Allocation Comprehensive, Systemic School Improvement Components TRUSTING, RESPECTFUL CLIMATE Jerry Valentine

6 Our Work is framed by Climate and Culture… Talk at your tables: What is the difference between Climate and Culture?

7 Climate of a School Community School Climate is the total environment of an organization including physical dimensions, social dimensions, administrative structures and Culture. Climate is the manifestation, the visibility, of the interaction of the four forces that create it, WITH CULTURE BEING THE MOST DYNAMIC. Tools to help learn about your Climate & Culture – Cultural Typology – Culture Survey

8 CULTURE IS… Organizational Vision Organizational Vision “What do we want our organization to look like over the next few years?” Organizational Goals Organizational Goals “How can we accomplish our organization’s vision?” Organizational Mission Organizational Mission “What is our organization’s purpose?”

9 CULTURE IS… Our Values as A Faculty Our Values as A Faculty “What do we hold dear about education?” Our Beliefs as a Faculty Our Beliefs as a Faculty “What do we think makes a difference for students?” Our Commitment to Best Practices Our Commitment to Best Practices “How much, and to what, are we committed?”

10 What is School Culture?  The shared beliefs and values that closely knit a community together (Deal and Kennedy, 1982)  The unwritten rules and traditions, norms, and expectations (Deal and Peterson, 2009)  The way we do things around here (Bower, 1966)

11 CONTINUOUS CHANGE… Does our school culture represent the values necessary to make appropriate changes? Does our school culture reduce anxiety about change by involving teachers in the decisions and design and then supporting their efforts during implementation? Do we have a caring, collaborative, problem- solving culture that will allow us to identify and make the right changes?

12 When the climate or culture of a school is not conducive to learning, what to we do? We have to engage in the process of change.

13 Four Stages of CHANGE Freeze is our current state—the way we are… Unfreeze is the time we spend realizing and accepting that we need to change. Transition is the actual implementation of the change. Refreezing is stabilizing the organization so the new change can be internalized and maintained until it needs to be changed.

14 CONTINUOUS CHANGE Freeze Unfreeze Transition Refreeze

15 CONTINUOUS CHANGE …is a condition of life in school. We cannot afford to stay frozen. We, as a school, must collaboratively design the change.

16 For a school to get better… Faculty typically has to address the culture of the school before tackling the issues of curriculum, instruction and organization.

17 The culture is the personality of the school… …it influences and shapes the way teachers, students, and administrators think, feel, and act… …it reflects the norms, values, beliefs, and assumptions of our school… …it shapes the “way we do things around here.”

18 And the research says… A positive school culture – Fosters school effectiveness and productivity – Improves collegiality, collaboration, communication and problem-solving practices – Promotes innovation and school improvement – Builds commitment and kindles motivation – Amplifies the energy and vitality of school staff, students, and community – Focuses attention on what is valued and important Deal and Peterson pp. 12-14

19 How do we constructively reshape our school’s culture?????? WE…. define what we value and believe about students and the schooling experience. create vision and set goals. openly discuss our rituals and ceremonies to be sure they support our desired culture. discuss “the way we do things” openly and challenge our existing practices How do we do this…. we collect data we study the data we reshape practices that do not match our desired culture

20 Safety Net… A strong and positive caring, collaborative, problem-solving school culture… provides collective security to all stakeholders. serves as the foundation for constructive change because it reflects the school’s values and beliefs and commitments.

21 Remember… A Caring Collaborative School Culture is one of the basic components of a highly successful school Study it and shape it… It is who you are!

22 Recommended Readings Shaping School Culture Kent Peterson & Terrance Deal Shaping School Culture Field Book Kent Peterson & Terrance Deal

23 CULTURE TYPOLOGY CULTURE SURVEY Developed by: Dr. Jerry Valentine Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri


25 Cultures can be… Toxic (negativity is the norm) Fragmented (individualism is valued) Balkanized (clique) Contrived Collegiality (Superficial structure) Comfortably Collaborative (social collaboration) Collaborative (The norm is openness, problem-solving, challenging, seeking improvement collectively as a faculty)

26 Typology


28 Collaborative Leadership Teacher Collaboration Professional Development Unity of Purpose Collegial Support Learning Partnership

29 Culture Survey Online Culture Survey link nt/school-culture-survey.html Please contact Kenny Moles or Nancy Cline for a password to the online link

30 Let’s do some examples School Samples: 1.How would this school’s culture be characterized? (What type?) 2.What does that mean? Why do you believe the school has this type of culture? 3.What would you do to improve the culture of this school? How would you start?

31 Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.” Emily Dickenson

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