Leading cultural change

Leading cultural change involves an understanding of leadership skills and an appreciation of the development of cultures in a school setting.

New Zealand articles and resources

Professional learning: leading culture

This excellent seven-page resource is useful as a discussion document for leadership teams who are inquiring into the structures and approaches they have for teacher professional learning and development.

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Creating and maintaining school cultures in times of change

by Chris Callaghan

This piece of research describes interviews with several Christchurch principals as they created and maintained school cultures during the Canterbury earthquakes. The implications apply to any school going through major change.

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Thinking about principalship

by David Stewart

In this article, David Stewart overviews the work of a number of theorists who argue that successful leadership stems from a particular form of school culture – one where schools are perceived as communities rather than organisations.

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New Zealand school stories

Te Kura Kaupapa o Māori Manawatu

Debbie Marshall-Lobb describes how they opened up dialogue on teaching and learning, leading to greater consensus and cohesion.

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Other resources

Systemic change and equity

by Mary Scheetz and Peter Senge

Shifting deeply established habits of thought and behaviour to promote equity for all students.

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Making progress possible

by Michael Fullan

Michael Fullan talks about the roles of intrinsic motivation, internal accountability and ‘freedom to’ in school change. He also talks about new ways of spreading change and success.

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Culture shift doesn’t occur overnight

by Rick DuFour

In this commentary, Rick DuFour examines the impact teacher practices have on student learning. He asks, “What happens in our schools when, despite our best efforts in the classroom, a student does not learn?”

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Related sabbatical reports

  • Mark Shanahan, Waitakere College

    Investigate how to sustain school culture during change. Visit eight schools in America and England and two school districts that have a history of exceptional leadership on raising and maintaining student achievement for mixed community schools. Confirm first-hand the strategic review cycles, systems and structures that the schools have in place to maintain positive learning cultures. (PDF 213kB)