Paradigms and School Culture — pt 2

When a group of people share the same world view, when their paradigms are consistent with each other or are sufficiently homogenous in their core assumptions, then a common ‘culture’ emerges…. parallel behaviours, common speech patterns, common ways of explaining … In short, the group becomes tribal. Thus the principal, if he or she wishes to develop a strongly cohesive culture for his or her school, must address those elements which handle the school’s environment for learning. … there are always some common ideas which do emerge when you listen carefully … There are, in short, common paradigms which will give clues for action and planning. (Beare, 1989, p. 18)

Here is one excellent piece of advice that needs to be taken as a person learning to lead. Listen. Listen for clues when parents and potential parents speak about the school. Look for clues to their paradigms.

As a person who takes potential families through on Tour Days I will now be listening more closely for this. Do their paradigms sound similar to ours. If not, if they have other maps of what schools should be, but like what they ‘see’ (horses, happy children, beautiful bush setting) then sooner or later ‘things’ will not be the way they like. Equally I must check that they clearly hear and understand our school’s paradigms.

Beare, H. (1989). The movement to create excellent schools. In Creating an excellent school: Some new management techniques (pp. 1-22). London: Routledge.

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