ERIC Number: ED242101
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Creating Cultures That Support Instruction: A View of the Principal's Leadership Role.
Firestone, William A.; Wilson, Bruce L.
Organizational cultures are systems of publicly and collectively accepted meanings, beliefs, values, and assumptions that a staff uses to guide its actions and interpret its surroundings. In an effort to suggest concrete ways a principal can change or maintain a culture, three important elements of a school culture are discussed: content, symbols, and communication patterns. Content refers to commitments and task definitions emphasized by the school, including values such as diversity, respect for individual autonomy, and commitment to high standards. Symbols of a culture are the means used to convey its content. These may include legends or stories; iconic physical objects such as flags, trophies, or even classroom furnishings; and rituals such as assemblies, teachers' meetings, conferences, and other recurrent activities. Communication patterns help reinforce the cultural context carried by the symbols. To be effective, a principal must establish preferences for certain kinds of cultural content, reinforce it through the symbol system, and consistently communicate this culture in all of his or her interactions around the school. (TE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.