How do we define school culture?
I.  Consider the quotes below from the pre-work readings.  Reflect upon the questions as you consider the term, "school culture".
II.  After watching the video at the end, construct your own definition of "School Culture".  Include key elements that can be identified and described.  You will add your definition to the comment stream below.

1)  What are elements of culture that would make up “the way we do things”?

2)  School culture involves a lot beneath the surface that you may not see at first glance...it has depth and history and many components.  You may have heard the term "Cultural Iceberg".  What are some characteristics of "external (surface) culture"?  "Internal (deep) culture"?

3)  learning is a key response to the dramatic, rapidly changing economic, technological and societal changes that affect our educational systems and goals.

John Dewey’s statement about how we are teaching students is more relevant today than ever. Our classrooms are in fact on the front line of a major shift today in the teaching and learning paradigm. The paradigm shift is being driven by a number of factors including the new skills students will need to compete in the global marketplace, the concerns of parents (and employers) about education systems, and the explosion of technology tools that have transformed many aspects of our daily life but have yet to fully infiltrate the traditional school model.

What are some examples of the changes in how we teach that reflect today and tomorrow but not yesterday?


4)  "More than 70% of all major transformation efforts fail. Why? Because organizations do not take a consistent, holistic approach to changing themselves, nor do they engage their workforces effectively."  Kotter International

How do cultural shifts occur?  What is important in the approach?  In the process?

5)  What is meant by "Positive School Culture"?  

6)  How would you define school culture?

Using these references, build your own definition of “School Culture.”  Post your definition in the comment stream below.   What consistent elements do you notice among the various definitions posted?

Comment Stream

a year ago
0

School Culture is a composed of the collective norms, values, beliefs, and attitudes about teaching, learning, student behavior, and the mission of what "school" is and should be. Leadership can help define school culture through modeling, casting the vision, challenging the processes and beliefs of staff (coming alongside and building trust), enabling staff to act, take risks - making okay to fail, and encouraging the heart by celebrating successes. Over time, the school culture then is defined by best practices of teaching and learning and the "culture" becomes one of mutual respect, growth, and a desire for continual improvement.

a year ago
0

School Culture is the fabric of an organization created by norms, expectations, and past practice. It develops over time through repeated actions, common decisions, determined priorities. Just like any fabric, flaws may exist and repairs may be required.

a year ago
1

Our beliefs, perceptions, relationships, attitudes, and written and unwritten rules shape and influence every aspect of our school and district.

a year ago
1

School culture includes all members of the school community (staff, students, parents, community members, etc.) and encompasses the following: behaviors, beliefs, values, perceptions, priorities, relationships, traditions, attitudes, etc. that are at the core of the school.

a year ago
0

School Culture begins with everyone in the school community. To really establish a school culture, there must be a presence of modeling, a sense of trust, relationship building, and strong leadership that emulates what the culture should be.

a year ago
0

Organizational action based on stated values.

a year ago
0

School culture incorporates the interactions between those that you are surrounded by, those feelings you hold for those people, and the level of enjoyment and fulfillment that that you take away from your daily work.

a year ago
0

School culture is the heart of the learning environment. If it is strong, vibrant and healthy, the people within flourish and grow. If it is diseased or weak, the growth can be affected. The beliefs, values, traditions and priorities of the community determine the culture and the leadership needs to work together to keep it healthy.