Culture is an interval part of society and all of its institutions. Thus, it is not surprising to find that educators examining the development of public school education have been forced to address the issue of culture in the context of organizational development. If schools are to develop in a cohesive manner the cultures of that are utilized for development must be firmly rooted in the practices and traditions that will facilitate the best educational outcomes for all students involved. Clearly, this is a difficult objective to achieve. However, as Petersen and Deal (1998) note "culture influences everything that goes on schools: how staff dress, what they talk about, their willingness to change, the practice of instruction and the emphasis given student and faculty learning" (p. 28). Thus, culture is an important part of the development of any school.Identification of Culture.The specific culture developed in this suburban Chicago high school was one that was predicated upon a pursuit of excellence for all students. Although the staff in the school had committed to the development of student excellence, few teachers were visible in the hallways between or after classes. Rather, most of the teachers preferred to spend their spare time talking with one another or reading or listening to music and the teachers lounge.
[...] Individual Cultures Benefits to the Learning Team What is perhaps most interesting about this individual culture is that it effectively demonstrates how a negative organizational culture can affect educational outcomes for students. Even though the organization has a solid reputation for academic achievement and individual personal development the reality of the organization is that significant problems are impeding the ability of the organization to move forward. While it is quite possible that many of the educators and school board administrators see these problems, the fragmentation and disarray that has been created in the organization in recent years continues to make it difficult for any one person to address all of these issues. [...]
[...] Steadfast appearance to this pursuit creates a stable culture or both of the community and the school. Weaknesses of the Organization Although the organization has been able to effectively maintain solid academic performance in recent years, recent data on the student body population seems to suggest that more students are falling behind with respect to academic performance when compared to other schools in the same district. Unfortunately, the inability of educators and administrators to work together cooperatively served as the impetus to leave this issue unaddressed by either the school board or the community. [...]
[...] Despite this however the unwillingness of individuals in the organization to work together in a cooperative fashion clearly prevented the organization from operating in an ideal manner. During my time but the organization a number of efforts were made to a proven the overall level of communication that took place between the school and the community. In particular, suggestions were made to provide all families with a newsletter, which detailed the events of the school board meetings. In addition, suggestions were made to increase the availability of the principal to both students and their parents. [...]
[...] Personal Performance within This Setting Having worked as a school administrator in the school system for four years, the overall impact of culture was clearly elucidated during this time period. Although the organization was able to function in a cohesive manner, the reality is that the school did not have the tools or resources that it needed in order to improve the problems that have developed in recent years. Further, the culture had disenfranchised of educators and administrators of the student body at the basic context of communication between these entities have been significantly eroded over the course of time. [...]
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