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School Culture—Towards a New Model

School Culture—Towards a New Model


Editorial School Culture—Towards a New Model SAGE Publications, Inc. 201010.1177/1741143209351668 © 2010 BELMAS BELMAS TonyBush The concept of school culture has been a focus of debate for more than two decades. It has proved to be a fertile way to comprehend school practice and to connect it to wider issues of national or societal culture (Walker, in press). It has also helped to counter the dominant bureaucratic assumptions underpinning school leadership and management. By focusing on the values and beliefs of leaders, teachers and students, it has provided a helpful means of understand- ing the ways in which schools operate. More than 20 years ago, Beare et al. (1989) celebrated the organizational distinctiveness implied by the use of the term ‘culture’. The advent of self-managing schools in many education systems has also served to reinforce the notion of schools and colleges as unique entities. Despite this widespread interest in culture, Les Bell and Peter Kent, in the opening article, argue that the concept is dif cult to de ne and even harder to operationalize. They review the literature on culture and note that fragmenta- tion into sub-cultures often occurs. They comment that research has focused primarily on teacher
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