ERIC Number: ED335754
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Seeing What We Think: Symbols of School Culture.
Furtwengler, Willis J.; Micich, Anita
A study examined the nature of school culture information found in symbolic pictures of schools. One specific goal was to determine the nature of school culture information embedded in verbal interpretations of symbolic school drawings and the accuracy of reviewers' interpretations of the drawings. Another goal was to compare information from the symbolic pictures with other forms of school culture data. Two data sets from six schools (three high schools, one middle school, one combination elementary-middle school, and one elementary school located in the Northwest, Southwest, and Northeast areas of the United States) were analyzed. The first set involved analysis of symbolic pictures drawn by faculty, students, and parents and of verbal interpretations of those pictures by a panel of three reviewers. The second set consisted of student and teacher responses to school culture questionnaires and interviews regarding their schools' cultures. Using interpretive and functional paradigms, symbols were classified into six components of school culture. Findings indicate that the drawings communicated areas of school culture that school members saw as having meaning and importance--cultural leadership, student membership, and environmental support. Data regarding the accuracy of the panel's interpretations were inconclusive. Components of school culture that received low ratings in the formal school reports--cultural leadership, student membership, and environmental support--had a high frequency of interpretation among drawers and reviewers. Eight tables are included. (17 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).