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School Culture Rewired

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Dawn Kivlehan

on 20 April 2015

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Transcript of School Culture Rewired

School Culture Rewired
EAD 660 Organizational Change
School Culture REwired
Steve Gruenert & Todd Whitaker (2015)
Each school has a culture, with belief systems, and expectations that reflect its distinctive mission and demographics.
The authors offer strategies and advice for defining, assessing, and transforming a school's culture into one that is positive and actively works to improve students’ learning and lives.

Why is the study of school culture important?
What does the climate tell us?
What should you be thankful for in your school?
How does the principal influence the culture of the school?
Dawn Kivlehan
Cheryl Rogers
What subcultures exist in your school?
Step 1:
Identify Current School Culture
Understand the concept of school culture
Understand your school's culture
Shape new school culture
Step 2:
Identify the Building Blocks of the Culture and the Subcultures that exist

Culture is made up of building blocks
routines, rituals
norms, roles, symbols
values and beliefs
Step 3 :
Identify the type of culture you want for the school

Identify the present state
Set a target for a new type of culture
Step 4:
Analyze/ Inventory the Data
Think of the responses as those of the culture not one voice
Identify the highest and lowest rated responses
Ask "What allows us to get these scores?"
Teachers rate their four most pressing concerns
Teachers think of strategies that might address concerns
Groups share results
Step 5:
Jump Start the Change
Stop with the excuses
Stop generalizing
Let the most effective teachers in on the skinny

Cultural change must be a school- wide movement, not just an individual effort
Culture vs. Climate
Culture influences our values and beliefs
Climate is values and beliefs in action
Culture is the school's personality
Climate is the school's attitude
Put what you learn to good use
Addressing school culture is a way to assess and leverage school change
Build a school culture on past successes rather that elaborate on past failures
Identify and recruit members of the subculture
recruit or persuade members of the subculture to support new initiatives
if subcultures go rogue they may spread opposition against the leadership amongst their collegues
The "Nirvana" of all school cultures is a collaborative culture
embraces learning for students and staff
teachers share strong educational values and pursue professional development opportunities
conversations are based on student achievement
observe peers
help, trust, and reflect together
The Opposite of "Nirvana" is a toxic culture
unhappy place
staff work together to better themselves
may have started from a subculture and grew
teachers focus on survival over improvement
expends energy on preventing change
Moving the Process Forward
School Climate Surveys inventory behavior and provide a baseline to work from
reliable, meaning teachers are likely to interpret the data in a similar way
the 35 items of the survey can be broken down into 6 categories
professional development
unity of purpose
collegial support
learning partnership
Ways to Modify the Culture
create new units within the organization
change personnel
be a visionary leader
redefine the mission
reorganize the institution
use crisis to refocus goals and priorities
Use your calendar to best serve the cultural change
First Day - find teachers you trust to help you
First Week - select teachers to informally discuss the direction you want to take the school with other teachers
First Month - plant the seeds, you want the teachers to think the change is their idea
First Year - monitor behaviors and conversations of your teachers, you know your allies and your roadblocks
Create the team
Step 1: Rating the Teachers
ability to influence others
Step 2: Connecting the Teachers
create a grid of relationships
Step 3: Spread the Virus (Create School Improvement Team)
target those with the strongest ties
choose team members who interact with all teachers everyday
Full transcript