what constitutes good teaching techniques

School Culture Assessment

School Culture Survey School Culture Definition

“School culture is the set of norms, values and beliefs, rituals and ceremonies, symbols and stories that make up the “persona” of the school. These unwritten expectations build up over time as teachers, administrators, parents, and students work together, solve problems, deal with challenges and, at times, cope with failures. For example, every school has a set of expectations about what can be discussed at staff meetings, what constitutes good teaching techniques, how willing the staff is to change, and the importance of staff development.”

Peterson, K. (2002). Positive: A school’s culture is always at work, either helping or hindering adult learning. Here’s how to see it, assess it, and change it for the better. Journal of Staff Development, 23(3), pages 10-14. Retrieved 1/12/09 from http://www.nsdc.org/library/publications/jsd/peterson233.cfm

School Culture Survey

Adapted from: Phillips, G. (1993). The school-classroom culture audit. Vancouver, B.C. Eduserv, British

Columbia School Trustees Publishing. Retrieved 1/12/09 from: http://www.nsdc.org/library/publications/jsd/wagner233.cfm

Instructions: Complete the form and add up your score. As a team, add individual’s total scores and then divide by the number in your team to create an average. Compare the average with the Scoring Guide to determine the cultural “health” of your school.

Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always or almost

always Task

1. Teachers and staff discuss instructional strategies and curriculum issues. 1 2 3 4 5

2. Teachers and staff work together to develop the school schedule. 1 2 3 4 5

3. Teachers and staff are involved in the decision- making process with regard to materials and resources.

1 2 3 4 5

4. The student behavior code is a result of collaboration and consensus among staff. 1 2 3 4 5

5. The planning/organizational time allotted to teachers and staff is used to plan as collective units/teams rather than as separate individuals.

1 2 3 4 5

Teacher & Staff Survey

School Culture Assessment

Process Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always or almost

always 1. When something is not working in our school, the

faculty and staff predict and prevent rather than react and repair.

1 2 3 4 5

2. School members are interdependent and value each other. 1 2 3 4 5

3. Members of our school community seek alternatives to problems/issues rather than repeating what we have always done.

1 2 3 4 5

4. Members of our school community seek to define the problem/issue rather than blame others. 1 2 3 4 5

5. The school staff is empowered to make instructional decisions rather than waiting for supervisors to tell them what to do.

1 2 3 4 5

6. People work here because they enjoy it and choose to be here. 1 2 3 4 5


1. Teachers and staff tell stories of celebrations that support the school’s values. 1 2 3 4 5

2. Teachers and staff visit/talk/meet outside of the school to enjoy each others’ company. 1 2 3 4 5

3. Our school reflects a true “sense” of community. 1 2 3 4 5 4. Our schedule reflects frequent communication

opportunities for teachers and staff. 1 2 3 4 5

5. Our school supports and appreciates sharing of new ideas by members of our school. 1 2 3 4 5

6. There is a rich and robust tradition of rituals and celebrations, including holidays, special events, and recognition of goal attainment.

1 2 3 4 5


Total =

Scoring Guide: The lowest assessment score is 17 and the highest score is 85.

17-40 = Critical and immediate attention necessary. 41-60 = Modifications and improvements are necessary. 61-75 = Monitor and continue to make positive adjustments. 76-85 = Amazing! No one has ever scored higher than 75!

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