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 School Improvement:  Culture
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Culture is expressed ... in the way in which things take place in the normal course of events & arises from

  • values (and thus principles & purposes)
  • beliefs, assumptions & paradigms
  • hopes, aims & expectations
  • permissions & requirements
  • relationships & commitments
  • the use of language to describe reality


The development of culture

  • Culture is developed through leadership
  • Leadership is a relationship (not a role)
  • Culture involves authority (of the leaders)
  • For authority to be more than control
    • it must be delegated from 'above' and
    • it must be granted from 'below'


People & systems

Culture is the core component of self-organising systems in human organisations

  • principles rather than regulations
  • leadership rather than policy
  • relationships rather than roles


Culture may not be sufficient ...

These higher order elements rely on knowledge, skills and systems and the capacity of the culture itself. When the existing culture 'fails in some respect' the lower order elements (roles, regulations, policy, ) prevail and represent the best available options.


The Harvard Law

"Under the most carefully controlled conditions, keeping all variables within specifications, the organism will do as it damn well pleases."

Webb's corollary:

If the organism can't do well pleases it will expend its energy 'stuffing up' what the controlling agent wants.