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Evaluation Leadership Institute (ELI)
Culture Typology
Professional Learning Series

The School Culture Typology is a self-reflective tool and related activity designed to identify a school-wide perspective of the “type” of culture that exists in a school. The typology tool was first developed in 1997 as a hands-on, practical method of defining for discussion purposes a school’s stage or type of culture.  To complete the activity, teachers assign point values to statements that are “most descriptive” of their school from a series of statements representing twelve elements of school culture.

Those elements are:

  1. Student Achievement
  2. Collegial Awareness
  3. Shared Values
  4. Decision Making
  5. Risk-taking
  6. Trust
  7. Openness
  8. Parent Relations
  9. Leadership
  10. Communication
  11. Socialization
  12. Organization History.

Once the members of a leadership or school improvement team, or the whole faculty have completed individual worksheets, the facilitators of the activity lead the group in a consensus discussion.

This process creates a composite picture of the school’s “predominant” type of culture:

  1. Toxic
  2. Fragmented
  3. Balkanized
  4. Contrived Collegiality
  5. Comfortable Collaboration
  6. Collaborative.

As a school strives to develop a truly collaborative culture, the school’s leadership and/or improvement teams can monitor the cultural change with this typology tool and/or the School Culture Survey.

Culture Research Summary

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