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Shaping Positive School Cultures for the 21st Century 2008 Dr. Kent D. Peterson University of Wisconsin-Madison 1025 W. Johnson Street Madison, WI 53706.

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Presentation on theme: "Shaping Positive School Cultures for the 21st Century 2008 Dr. Kent D. Peterson University of Wisconsin-Madison 1025 W. Johnson Street Madison, WI 53706."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Shaping Positive School Cultures for the 21st Century 2008 Dr. Kent D. Peterson University of Wisconsin-Madison 1025 W. Johnson Street Madison, WI

3 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 (Diary of a Dropout)

4 We can talk or dream about the glorious schools of the future or we can create them. Marilyn Ferguson

5 Effective leaders know that the hard work of reculturing is the sine qua non of progress. (Fullan, 2001, p.44).

6 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)

7 Culture is a Powerful Force School culture influences how people think, feel, and act. Culture is a key determinant of staff focus, commitment, motivation, and productivity.

8 Elements of Culture Norms, Values and Beliefs that underlie thinking, feeling and acting Symbols and Artifacts that Communicate Meaning Stories that Herald Values Cultural Network Heroes and Heroines Rituals, Traditions, and Ceremonies Culture is the way we do things around here!

9 Elements of Toxic Cultures Negative Values and beliefs hold sway in toxic cultures. Sense of purpose is spiritually fragmented. Relationships are negative and destructive. The cultural networks most powerful members negaholics (Carter-Scott, 1989) The only heroes are anti-heroic. Few positive rituals, traditions, or ceremonies exist to develop a sense of community and hopefulness. Deal and Peterson (1999).

10 Culture is a powerful force that 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,1999 )

11 Key Roles of Cultural Leaders READ the Culture Historian and Anthropologist ASSESS the Culture Analyst and Evaluator REINFORCE or TRANSFORM the Culture Visionary, Symbol, Potter, Poet, Actor, and Healer (Deal and Peterson, 1994; 1999)

12 Ways of Reading Your Culture... Conduct a school history.Conduct a school history. List Six Adjectives to describe your school.List Six Adjectives to describe your school. Think of a song that depicts your culture.Think of a song that depicts your culture. Create a metaphor… If my school were an animal, it would be a _______ because_________________________.Create a metaphor… If my school were an animal, it would be a _______ because_________________________. Interview a schools storytellers.Interview a schools storytellers.

13 Conduct a History of the School Divide into groups representing the decades one arrived in the school. Discuss the major educational events that shaped the culture of the school during that decade. See possible historical elements to include.

14 Topics to Consider in the School History Major educational and other events Key formal and informal leaders Curriculum, instruction, assessment Types of educational technology Students and community characteristics Key successes, challenges, crises Rituals, traditions, and ceremonies People, personalities, and relationships Any unique events that shaped the decade Clothing, hairstyles and music of the decade

15 Ways of Reading Your Culture... Conduct a school history.Conduct a school history. List Six Adjectives to describe your school.List Six Adjectives to describe your school. Think of a song that depicts your culture.Think of a song that depicts your culture. Create a metaphor… If my school were an animal, it would be a _______ because_________________________.Create a metaphor… If my school were an animal, it would be a _______ because_________________________. Interview a schools storytellers.Interview a schools storytellers.

16 Vision and Mission an image of a desired state of affairs that inspires action, determines behavior, and fuels motivation. Charles Garfield (Peak Performers)

17 The Importance of Vision Vision focuses attention Vision inspires the heart Vision directs action Vision reinforces meaning and purpose (Bennis and Nanus; Peterson)

18 Vision, Mission, and Culture What are the core values of the culture? Can you identify the shared purposes in the culture? What is the cultures hoped for future? Is the vision and mission embedded in the culture?

19 Shaping Positive Cultures Work with the informal network Recount stories and history Role model core norms and values Use symbols and artifacts Communicate core values in your actions Use ceremonies and celebrations to recognize accomplishments

20 Informal Network Informal Network GossipsGossips Spies, Counterspies, MolesSpies, Counterspies, Moles StorytellersStorytellers Heroes and heroinesHeroes and heroines Keepers of the Dream Keepers of the Dream

21 Toxic Informal Network Pessimistic Storytellers Rumor Mongers Keepers of the Nightmare Negaholics and Naysayers Prima Donnas-Prima Donalds Space Cadets Martyrs Deadwood, Driftwood, Ballast Saboteurs

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

23 Types of Celebrations Beginning of Year Fall Solstice Ethnic Events Battle Preparations Retirements End-of-Year Large and Small Accomplishments and Actions

24 Elements of Ceremonies

25 Map Your Ceremonies and Celebrations over the Year

26 Conduct an Educational Garage Sale Decide what in the school should be sorted into different places Consider what you want to keep, store, repair, and discard You will place aspects of the school in five different stations The stations are: Museum, Not-For-Sale, Repair Shop, Garbage Can, Toxic Waste Hauler

27 Museum Place items that have served the school well, but need to be retired to a valued place of honor.

28 Not-For-Sale These features of the school are some of the best things going on and are important to keep and celebrate.

29 Repair Shop These are aspects of the school that need some repair, fine-tuning, or improvement.

30 Garbage Can These are items that need to be thrown out. They no longer serve the good to the school.

31 Toxic Waste Hauler These are negative, hostile, or toxic aspects of the school that take special handling. These need to be discarded carefully!

32 Culture Shaping Roles Anthropologist Historian Visionary Symbol Potter Poet Actor Healer (Deal and Peterson, 1999)

33 Looking to the Future After Today 1 Behavior Reinforced 2 Things Learned you want to share 3 Things to Do when you Return

34 Teachers usually have no way of knowing that they have made a difference in a childs 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

35 Resources and Research

36 Research on Organizational Culture Effective Schools Research (Edmonds;Brookover; Lezotte) Shaping School Culture (Deal and Peterson) School Reform Literature (Fullan) Professional Learning Communities (DuFour; Louis; Kruse) Good to Great (Collins) Balanced Leadership (Marzano et al) Execution (Bossidy et al)

37 Elements of Positive, Successful Cultures a mission focused on student and teacher learning a rich sense of history and purpose core values of collegiality, performance, and improvement that engender quality, achievement, and learning for everyone positive beliefs and assumptions about the potential of students and staff to learn and grow a strong professional community that uses knowledge, experience, and research to improve practice an informal network that fosters positive communication flows leadership that balances continuity and improvement rituals and ceremonies that reinforce core cultural values stories that celebrate successes and recognize heroines and heroes a physical environment that symbolizes joy and pride a widely shared sense of respect and caring for everyone Source: Shaping School Culture: The Heart of Leadership (1999). Terrence Deal and Kent Peterson, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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