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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

School culture

Schools, like other organizations, have their specific cultures, where, as Stoll et al. (2003) assert, the same values, beliefs and behaviour are shared in varying degrees by those who work there. Stoll et al. distinguish five different school cultures: moving, cruising, strolling, struggling and sinking.  Stoll et al. further assert that any changes that need to be made are dependent on the readiness of school culture for change, and that the school's stage of development influences its readiness for innovation and the pace of change.  With respect to school development, Dalin with Rolff (1993) refer to schools' life-cycles as either ‘fragmented’, with no common understanding of its needs and where changes need great deal of external support, a cycle of a school as a project school where innovative drive comes from management and the school leader and the organic school that resembles a learning organization, ready for internal and external initiatives.

As the school culture influences the school development and has an impact on pupil learning culture, these notions are intrinsically connected and are reflected in particular life-cycles, where a school in a 'fragmented' life-cycle would need a great deal of support and collaborative working to reach a common understanding which would lead to change in practices (Stoll, 1998; Harris, 2002). 

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