ERIC Number: ED305702
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Social and Community Values and the Quality of Teacher Work Life.
Louis, Karen Seashore
The value system of a school is a major factor affecting the teacher's working conditions, but public discourse on educational reform tends to avoid serious discussion of the most deeply embedded values in our educational system. This absence of serious reflection on values limits consideration of alternatives for improving both education and the quality of work in schools. Accordingly, this paper draws on personal involvement with the International School Improvement Project and on literature reviews to explore, in a cross-cultural context, some of the ways in which basic cultural values, professional values, and community values may affect the lives of teachers. The section on cultural values discusses and compares norms of homo/heterogeneity among schools, attitudes toward parental values and choice, and views of stability and change. The section on professional values discusses and compares the view of the teacher and the view of the school leader in various countries. The section on community values begins with a definition of value-cohesive and value-fragmented communities, and then discusses the effect of community cohesiveness or fragmentation on teachers. A discussion follows of the way in which value issues are framed in communities characterized by coalitions or those characterized by interest groups. The role of values in determining educational structures and functions in various cultures has implications for policy and practice, which are discussed in the conclusion. Notes and a bibliography are included. (TE)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Community Attitudes, Cultural Differences, Educational Anthropology, Educational Change, Educational Principles, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Foundations of Education, Leadership, Parent School Relationship, Politics of Education, School Choice, Values
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).