“He tini nga whetu, e ngaro I te kapua iti”
There are many stars; a small cloud cannot conceal them.
(Wanganui City College, 2010)
Learning a culture is involved and extremely intricate as each school is unique and the schools student populace being unique. Culture as we understand relates to relationships, traditions, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. So why is culture an important aspect with regards to schools, and how can cultures affect the schools running?
Aspects of a school culture can vary in terms of definition. Deal (1990) states he prefers definitions of culture to ‘the way we do things around here’. Indeed this statement keeps it simple and to the point, unlike culture is a concept that captures the subtle, elusive, intangible that force the shape of today’s society. To name just another Beare et al (2009) likes to approach culture with more tangible and intangible characteristics, he follows the philosophy of mission, value of leaders, frameworks of thinking and action and myths, stories and celebrations.
Within culture one must also distinguish between characteristics of the schools inner space for example metaphors, rules and regulations and uniforms. The outer space consists of the interaction or constant interchange with the outer community.
Visual manifestations of a school culture are things such as appearance, quality, friendliness of the reception area and furnishings. The schools human possessions are staff their personalities, their creativity, and dedication to team activities.
A structural pattern can define a culture in a school, where as regular routines such as assemblies, sporting ...
... middle of paper ...
...lationships and interconnections, and simultaneously develop cultures that promote collegiality and individuality”. (Stoll, 2000). In conclusion with cultures continuously diversifying we have to keep up with the changes within the schools, to offer a nurturing atmosphere that exudes relationship development, a strong sense of the schools beliefs with a positive approach to attitudes and development of social behavior.
Although some of the writings were quite antiquated they were a worthwhile read. Many of these philosophies are currently practiced within many schools worldwide.
Hickman, L.A. & Alexander, T.M. (Ed.) (1998).
Marsh, C. (2000). Handbook for beginning teacher (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, N.S.W. : Pearson Education Australia.
Tye, B (1989). The deep structure of schooling. SET 1.
Stoll, L. (2000). School culture. SET 3, 9-14
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