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The culture of a school setting is analyzed from three aspects: the attitudes of the school fraternity and the external community, the cultural norms of the school fraternity, and the relationship between the people in the school community. These factors affect the school setting in a positive or negative way. They may act as barriers to a good school setting or be the ones to build long lasting school culture. These factors form a culture over a long period of time. They require repeated characters and behaviors that are adopted over time. They determine whether a school community will be a success or a failure.
The Impact of Culture
Examining a school culture is of paramount importance in every school. Goodlad (2004) tells us that “alike as schools may be in many ways, each school has an ambience (or culture) of its own and further, its ambience may suggest to the careful observer useful approaches to making it a better school”. Two scholars Krueger and Parish (1982) did a study on the implementation and discontinuing programs and found out that the most important factor to successful relationships between teachers and students depend on the interactive relations the two have with each other. This notion should be well understood so that the heads of schools can assist in the improvement efforts for the students that are at risk. If it is not well understood and put into practice, it can also act as barrier to the improvement of the school.
The local culture is mainly guided by the culture of the schools around it. When a school improves in its culture, the environment around it is also affected by it and tries to accustom itself to it. School culture is, however, not known to affect the behavior and performance of students. It only impacts classroom making the students variable go higher. Schools cultures are also know to be unique: different schools will have a different culture. Culture is known to be discriminative to various sub groups within the school setting. Culture change is a considerably slow process, but once achieved, it will leave a lasting fundamental change. It requires patience and understanding. It can also be counterproductive and act as an obstacle to educational success. Such cultures should be eradicated so as to improve the performance of the school.
Attitudes and Beliefs
The attitude and beliefs of a person in the school setting help in forming the school culture. Many innovations have failed to be put into place because of the cultural beliefs of a school setting. Some schools have clearly set internal images of how schools should be run. This mental attitude affects the way new students respond to events and actions. Attitudes and beliefs are thus created from these mental modes and they determine what schooling is about. Teachers also have a set belief that students coming from a certain family and social class will adapt differently to the culture of the school. Teachers have noted culture shock amongst students coming from different backgrounds. As the students join the school, they find different cultures. It is the duty of teachers to ensure that all students feel comfortable and adapt easily to the culture of the school.
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The culture in a school setting varies from school to school. Parents should be careful about where they take their children to be admitted for schooling. This ensures they will not expose their children to bad cultures that go against their beliefs. The external environment is also affected by the culture of a school. It should therefore be the responsibility of all of us to ensure that sensible cultures are adapted in schools.
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