A Cultural comparison The Public School System & By: Glenda Cecil & Chase Newhouse
Methods for Collecting Data Ethnography Observation of New Castle Middle School. Observation of Tri Jr. Sr. High School. Interview Discussion with the principal of New Castle Middle School, Mrs. Jaci Hadsell. Discussion with the principal of Tri Jr. Sr. High School, Mr. Keith Isaacs.
Introduction Indiana is home to many great educational organizations. New Castle Middle School located in New Castle, and Tri Jr.-Sr. High School located in Straughn are just two examples. Both schools could be considered neighbors in Henry County. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, New Castle Middle School educates some 605 students, while Tri High School educates close to 446 (U.S. Department of Education, 2009- 2010). While each school was diverse, they organized themselves in similar ways.
ThesisBased on our research, it is ourBelief that New Castle MiddleSchool and Tri Jr.-Sr. High Schooloperate as a system within theboundaries of strategic-controland creativity and constraint, tocommunicate values and power.In the following we will discuss these concepts infurther detail, and explain how they relate to thepractice of communication within the organization ofthe public school.
Organizational cultureI. To begin with, New Castle Middle School and Tri Jr.-Sr. High School practice communication within the boundaries of strategic-control to communicate their values.They operate as a systemconsisting of many parts,working together toaccomplish multiple goals.
Organizational cultureA. The staff uses communication methods as a means to control the environment, or specifically, students and their behavior. They demonstrate control through visual stimulants, reward systems, and accountability plans.
Organizational culture There were inspirational posters and paintings throughout the building, almost hiding the walls. These contain sayings that encourage character building such as: Caring, Trust, and Responsibility. There are reward systems in place such as monthly character meets that are held to reward those students and staff who exhibit the monthly character trait, with recognition. There are accountability plans in place to hold students accountable to maintaining good grades, good behavior, but also to building honorable character.
Organizational cultureB. They also demonstrate control through performance, also verbal and nonverbal communication. • The staff, being in control, exhibits such control by setting themselves apart from students. The staff wears badges to classify them as in control. • The staff exhibits control through verbal and nonverbal cues such as being firm, only discussing school info with the kids, raising their voices when necessary, stern facial expressions, keeping their distance from students, etc.
Organizational cultureII. Next, New Castle Middle School and Tri Jr.-Sr. High School practice communication within the boundaries of creativity and constraint. They operate as a system providing opportunity for creativity and constraint to create a more potent, yet slightly open, communicative environment.
Organizational cultureA. The staff uses various methods in an effort to create firm boundaries that will in turn produce the desired results. This leads into the idea of the centrality of power.“Robert French and Bertram Ravendescribed five types of social powerfollowing the assumption that person A has power over person B when Ahas control over some outcome Bwants” (Eisenberg, 2009, p. 140).
Organizational powerThe staff has reward powerover the students when thestaff can give a reward inexchangefor the student’scompliance.
Organizational cultureThe staff has coercive powerover the students whenThe students perceive thatcertain behaviors on theirpart will lead to punishmentsfrom the staff.
Organizational cultureThe staff has referent powerover the students when thestudents are willing to do whatthe staff asks in order to be like them and/or liked by them.
Organizational cultureThe staff has expert powerover the studentswhen the studentsare willing to dowhat the staff saysbecause the studentsrespect their expert knowledge.
Organizational cultureThe staff has legitimatepower over the studentswhen the studentscomply with the staff’swishes because the staffholds a high-levelposition.
Organizational cultureB. “French and Raven’s approach to power is further reflected in some research as compliance- gaining and behavior-altering techniques. Examples include research on how supervisors can persuade subordinates to do undesirable tasks” (Eisenberg,
ConclusionThe public school system organizes communication in aneffort to establish control on behalf of the staffdemonstrating power over the students. The schoolsystem as a whole has one goal in mind and that is thesuccess of their subordinates. The public school systemimplements such control through the use of: strategic-control creativity and constraint centrality of powerNew Castle Middle School and Tri Jr. Sr. High School weremore similar than they were different. This understandingis beneficial as it gives us a glimpse into the educationsystem that not only affects each and every one of us, but
References Eisenberg, E. M. (2009). Organizational Communication. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. U.S. Department of Education. (2009-2010). Retrieved October 20, 2012, from National Center for Education Statistics: http://nces.ed.gov/ Hadsell, J. (2012, October 17). Principal. (G. Cecil, Interviewer) Isaacs, K. (2012, October 22). Principal. (C. Newhouse, Interviewer)