School Culture: Exploring a Concept
School Culture: Exploring a Concept Sharmistha Das School of Education University of Aberdeen Abstract In recent years the concept of 'school culture' has become the focus of increasing interest, either as a means to fuller understanding of the different aspects of school life or as a wider concept embracing inter-linked elements influencing learning. This paper explores the relationship between school culture and school community at the primary school stage, and how that relationship carries within itself the potential to influence children's learning. After an overview of the major studies in this area, a definition of school culture is offered, taking account of the different ways in which it is perceived. Discussion on the methodology used to explore the concept follows. Using data from a case study involving the school community i.e. teachers, non-teaching staff, pupils and senior members of staff, based on interviews, questionnaires and observation, the relationships among the elements in the 'trio' of school culture, school community and learning are discussed. The study suggests some interesting findings such as how important it is to have a predominant sense of security amongst all, in order to thrive in an ideal teaching and learning atmosphere, preferred by the members of the school community. However, the conclusion also raises questions like — Is it possible to develop an inbuilt 'meta-cognitive awareness' of school culture in the school community? If yes, then what measures can be adopted to change our everyday practice in schools?
Keywords: School Culture, School Community, Learning, Primary Education
Dr. Sharmistha Das
Postgraduate Researcher (PhD), School of Education, University of Aberdeen