2 A Cultural Perspective for Learning in Community Defining School CultureSchein’s Cultural ElementsHistorical and current artifacts (including behavior norms, traditions, and myths)Commonly held values and beliefs among internal and external participants in the organizationBasic assumptions that provide the underlying basis for actions, values, and beliefs by the participants
3 Understanding A School’s Existing Culture How long has the school existed?Why was it built, and who were the first inhabitants?Who had a major influence on the school’s direction?What critical incidents occurred in the past, and how were they resolved, if at all?
4 Understanding A School’s Existing Culture cont. What were the preceding principals, teachers, and students like?What does the school’s architecture convey? How is space arranged and used?What subcultures exist inside and outside the school?Who are the recognized (and unrecognized heroes and villains of the school?
5 Understanding A School’s Existing Culture cont. 9. What do people say (and think) when asked what the school stands for? What would they miss if they left?10. What events are assigned special importance?How is conflict typically defined? How is it handled?
6 Understanding A School’s Existing Culture cont. 12. What are the key ceremonies and stories of the school? 13. What do people wish for? Are there patterns to their individual dreams?
7 Wagner’s three cultural elements that relate specifically to the overall culture of the school Professional collaborationAffiliative and collegial relationshipsEfficacy or self-determination
8 Questions to link the understanding of the school’s culture with your role as a leader: What do students, staff, and community members say (and think) when asked what the school stands for?How do the key people in the school use personal pronouns in describing the school?
9 Characteristics of a Toxic Culture Focused on negative valuesFragmented—meaning is derived from subculture membership, antistudent sentiments, or life outside workAlmost exclusively destructiveSpiritually fractured
10 Negative Roles Saboteurs Pessimistic storytellers Keepers of the nightmareNegaholicsPrima donnasSpace cadetsMartyrsdeadwood
12 Principal Leadership in Creating, Maintaining, and Changing Culture Creating School Culture The first set, primary embedding mechanisms:What leaders pay attention to, measure, and control on a regular basisHow leaders react to critical incidents and organizational crisisObserved criteria by which leaders allocate scare resources
13 The first set, primary embedding mechanisms cont. 4. Deliberate role modeling, teaching, and coaching 5. Observed criteria by which leaders allocate rewards and status 6. Observed criteria by which leaders recruit, select, promote, retire, and excommunicate organizational members
14 A second set of mechanisms acts as culture reinforcers Organizational design and structureOrganizational systems and proceduresOrganizational rites and ritualsDesign of physical space, facades, and buildingsStories, legends, and myths about people and eventsFormal statements of organizational philosophy, values, and creed
15 Maintaining School Culture Internal veteransInternal newcomersExternal constituents
16 Changing School Culture: Seven steps in responding to toxic cultures Confront the negativity head on; give people a chance to vent their venom in a public forumShield and support positive cultural elements and staffFocus energy on the recruitment, selection, and retention of effective, positive staffRabidly celebrate the positive and the possibleConsciously and directly focus on eradicating the negative and rebuilding around positive norms and beliefsDevelop new stories of success, renewal, and accomplishmentHelp those who might succeed and thrive in a new district make the move to a new school
17 The Principal Facilitating Others in Understanding and Developing Culture VisionarySymbolPotterPoetActorHealer
18 Five Possibilities that Symbolize what Principals and Assistant Principals can do Symbolize core values in the way offices and classrooms are arrangedModel values through the leader’s demeanor and actionsUse time to communicate what is important, what should be attended toRealize that what is appreciated, recognized, and honored signals the key values of what is admirable and achievableRecognize that official correspondence is a visible measure of values and reinforces the importance of that is being disseminated
19 Four Ways to Shape the Culture They infuse shared values and beliefs into every aspect of the cultureThey anoint heroes and heroines, anointing and recognizing the best role models in the schoolThey observe rituals as a means of building and maintaining esprit de corpsThey perpetuate meaningful, value-laden traditions and ceremonies
20 Three Examples of Ways Teacher Leaders can Work with Principles in Reinforcing Positive Aspects of Culture:Celebrate successes in staff meetings and ceremoniesTell stories of accomplishment and collaboration whenever they have the opportunityUse clear, shared language created during professional development to foster commitment to staff and student learning