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School culture feb 2012 leathu

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School culture feb 2012 leathu

  1. 1. School Culture “The way we do things around here” (Bower,1966)
  2. 2. Aims  What is school culture ?  The impact of culture   Leadership and School Culture –your context Leading my School Culture
  3. 3.          The challenge for leaders is to go beyond a focus on day-to-day management concerns and crises and to focus on the larger purpose of work and of the institution in which the work is carried out…The deeper and more important task is to give passionate, relentless attention to mission and purpose, continually seeking ways to offer the gift of significance to one's constituents.” -Bolman and Deal, Leading with Soul
  4. 4.  “The bottom line for leaders is that if they do not become conscious of the cultures in which they are embedded, those cultures will manage them.” Edgar H. Schein, 2004
  5. 5. What do we mean by school culture ?  If a teacher walked into a school , how would they “pick up” the culture ?
  6. 6. Culture – a Definition “The collection of relatively uniform and enduring values, beliefs, customs, traditions and practices that are shared by an organisation’s members, learned by the new recruits and transmitted from one generation of employees to the next” Edgar Schein “The way we do things around here…” “The collective programming of the mind”
  7. 7.    A set of common understandings around which action is organized, . . . finding expression in language whose nuances are peculiar to the group (Becker and Geer 1960). A set of understandings or meanings shared by a group of people that are largely tacit among members and are clearly relevant and distinctive to the particular group which are also passed on to new members (Louis 1980). A system of knowledge, of standards for perceiving, believing, evaluating and acting . . . that serve to relate human communities to their environmental settings (Allaire and Firsirotu 1984).
  8. 8.   What are the challenges you face in the current climate in maintaining the culture of your school? What are the cultural changes that are taking place within the school context because of external factors?
  9. 9. Three Levels of Culture Artifacts Espoused Values Underlying Assumptions
  10. 10. Three Levels of Culture    Level One  What you might see on your first visit – first impressions Level Two  Values, beliefs, “the way things should be done”  These are “testable” in the physical environment Level Three  Fundamental beliefs about school, students, etc.  Reason for being
  11. 11. A “The way we do things around here!” (Bower, 1966) regularities practices rituals traditions myths & legends beliefs attitudes ceremonies artefacts values shared meanings Assumptions Mental models – mindsets symbols norms understandings
  12. 12. Elements of Organizational Culture Physical Structures  Artifacts of Organizational Culture Language  Rituals and Ceremonies  Stories and Legends  Communication Networks Organizational Culture  History  Beliefs  Values Assumptions 
  13. 13. How Culture Evolves Problem / Need Solution Continued Success Continued Success Practice Belief Shared Tacit Assumption Culture Taken for granted!
  14. 14. Case Study  Choose 3 visible structures/processes and identify the beliefs / assumptions that underpin them ?
  15. 15. Positive School Culture ?  What are the characteristics of a positive school culture  How does it affect teaching and learning?
  16. 16. POSITIVE CULTURE         LEADERSHIP PERMEATES SUCCESS IS CELEBRATED AND RECOGNISED HONESTY, OPENESS ARE EVIDENT EXTERNAL INVOLVEMENT PARTICIPATION IS ENCOURAGED OPEN TO CHANGE TAKES RISKS 21st Century Leadership SOCIALISATION
  17. 17. Negative School Culture ?  What are the characteristics of a negative school culture  How does it affect teaching and learning?
  18. 18. NEGATIVE CULTURES
  19. 19. CHARACTERISTICS OF A TOXIC CULTURE Weak leadership  Lack of direction/rudderless  Closed and secretive  Mistrust / suspicion  Bully tactics  Fear/anxiety/isolation  Tension/stress  Inconsistency  Destructive internal competition  Controlled 
  20. 20. Cultural Nutrients - Toxins  Exercise
  21. 21.    Every school has skeletons These skeletons become a part of the culture – good or bad The way a community deals with these “skeletons: speaks volumes about its “culture” and commitment to selfimprovement
  22. 22. Leadership "It can be argued that the only thing of real importance that leaders do is create and manage cultures; that the unique talent of leaders is their ability to understand and work with culture; and that it is an ultimate act of leadership to destroy culture when it is viewed as dysfunctional." (Schein, 2004)
  23. 23. Culture is transmitted and embedded by… y over e Primar m time! Can beco Primary Embedding Mechanisms  What leaders pay attention to, measure and control  How leaders react to critical incidents  How leaders allocate resources  Leader’s role modelling and coaching  How leaders allocate rewards and status  Recruitment, selection, promotion and exit Secondary Reinforcement Mechanisms  Design and Structure  Systems and Processes  Rites and Rituals  Physical space, facades and buildings  Stories about important events  Creation of heroes
  24. 24. If a head is consistently interested in one thing, it will become a centerpiece of school culture. If a head is inconsistently interested in many things, unclear in communicating with employees, or inconsistent in decision-making or defining priorities, people will spend a lot of time trying to figure out what’s going on. The head’s inconsistency will become a central feature of the school culture. (Understanding School Culture, Michael Thompson
  25. 25. Requirements for Successfully Changing Organizational Culture        Understand the old culture first Support employees and teams who have ideas for a better culture and are willing to act on those ideas Find the most effective subculture in the organization and use it as a model Help employees and teams do their jobs more effectively Use the vision of a new culture as a guide for change Recognize that significant cultural change takes time Live the new culture
  26. 26. Changing Culture Belief Practice
  27. 27. My School    Pick 1 practice in your school you would like to change or introduce and 1 that you would like to maintain What are the beliefs , assumptions on which this practice is based How will you bring about this change?
  28. 28. The Leader is:      Symbol of Culture Potter who shapes the Culture Poet who uses language to describe the Culture Actor who plays out the values and vision Healer who presides over life transitions in the community
  29. 29.           “Leadership is a relationship rooted in community. Leaders embody their group's most precious values and beliefs. Their ability to lead emerges from the strength and sustenance of those around them. It persists and deepens as they learn to use life's wounds to discover their own spiritual centers. As they conquer the demons within, they achieve the inner peace and bedrock confidence that enable them to inspirit and inspire others.” -Bolman and Deal, Leading with Soul.

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