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, and (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. The six types of culture are (1) Toxic, (2) Fragmented, (3) Balkanized, (4) Contrived Collegiality, (5) Comfortable Collaboration, and (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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