ERIC Number: ED408687
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Towards a Model of School Culture.
Cavanaugh, Robert F.; Dellar, Graham B.
In recent times, sociological constructs have been used to examine school culture, viewing schools as learning communities rather than formal organizations. This paper describes use of the School Cultural Elements Questionnaire (SCEQ) to investigate the culture of schools in Western Australia. The SCEQ was first administered to 422 teachers in 8 Western Australian schools; 1 year later, it was administered to 146 teachers in 3 secondary schools. Teachers in two of the secondary schools were also interviewed. Data were used to develop the School Improvement Model of School Culture, which depicts the relationships among the six cultural elements and their effect on the overall school culture. The six elements that affect school improvement include teacher efficacy, an emphasis on learning, collegiality, collaboration, shared planning, and transformational leadership. The model views school culture as an open-systems structure in which an equilibrium is maintained between interactive internal elements and external factors. The model embodies some of the following propositions: (1) School culture is composed of cultural elements; (2) cultural elements facilitate cultural maintenance and growth; (3) cultural elements are vehicles for improving the effectiveness of schools; (4) cultural growth and school improvement occur when the cultural elements are well developed; (5) strong cultures are resilient when subject to external pressures; (6) weak cultures are inherently unstable and can be further destabilized or strengthened when subject to external pressures; and (7) successful school improvement is dependent on utilization of culturally oriented planning and implementation strategies. (Contains 23 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Educational Cooperation, Educational Environment, Educational Improvement, Effective Schools Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Interprofessional Relationship, Models, Organizational Change, Organizational Development, School Culture, School Effectiveness, Statistical Analysis, Teacher Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia