Tools for Schools, August/September 1998, Vol. 2, No. 1
Student learning grows in professional cultures
By Joan Richardson
An article in a professional publication describes how a variety of schools have used study groups to explore topics of interest to teachers. Two teachers reading the article react quite differently. One says, “Great idea. The teachers in my school would love to try that. How would we get started?”
Doing a history of your school's culture
This activity will help school staff understand its present culture and how that culture evolved. It can be used with a school that is examining its culture for the first time or a school that needs to update its understanding of the culture.
Strategies for strengthening culture
This process can be done as a follow-up to the activity on Page 3 or it can be done separately. This activity will help your staff determine its priorities and sharpen its focus on school culture this year.
Developing cultural action plans
This activity should be done by the staff group at your school that would consider cultural issues, such as a school improvement team, leadership team, or climate committee. At the conclusion of this activity, the group should have an action plan for every norm that your school has agreed to address this year.
Evaluating your school's culture
This activity will help staff assess its impact on the school’s culture. Although this tool is presented here as an end-of-the-year evaluation tool, it could be easily modified and used as a beginning-of-the-year evaluation.
Resources: Learning about school culture