26 SES 07 C, Dialoguing, Mentoring, Coaching, Using Mission Statement – Tools to Improve Education?
The purpose of the present study is to examine whether discrepancies exist between Israel's public school policies as reflected in their logo and vision statement, and actual policy. The school logo and written vision are main important tools in designing and reflecting school policy and its organizational culture and identity.
The school logo is a symbolic expression of the school, indicating its approach to building, preserving and making changes. Within the framework of institutions of higher learning, which are educational organizations with some similarities to schools, several studies have dealt with university logos, focusing on both pedagogical and marketing aspects (e.g., Delmestri et al., 2015). Unfortunately, no profound research was found concerning school logos.
Along with the logo, the vision statement plays a key role in this context. It serves as mental image of a possible and desirable future situation for the school that represents common values and ethical aspects (Kopaneva, 2013). The vision statement has considerable influence on shaping and preserving organizational culture and identity (Hallinger and Lu, 2014).
The vision statement and the logo have similar or even shared meanings and roles, so that the logo constitutes a visual means to reflect the school's vision statement (Baruch, 2005). Obviously, the logo, as a visual medium, cannot reflect all the values that appear in the vision statement. However, a total disconnect between the values in the vision statement and those reflected by the logo detracts from its effectiveness. Therefore, it is important to deal with the correspondence of characteristics and values expressed by them both. Even though the logo and the vision statement are mutually important, we have not found in-depth studies that deal with this subject.
Values express beliefs and viewpoints that define the desired situation and serve as a criterion of morality and ideologies (Ryu, 2015). The school has an important place in shaping and inculcating social and ethical values, while endeavoring to promote ethical development through experiences, discussions, values and the acquisition of knowledge (Gurley et al., 2015). However, very few studies have analyzed school logos in the context of social ethics.
The values reflected in the vision statement and logo are important, and considerable effort is required to keep them front and center. Bringing the vision into practice helps schools to cope with crises and strengthen the sense of commitment and trust among school staff (Mundy, 2017). Despite its importance, at times actual policy does not correspond to the declared vision. This lack of correspondence can create a gap which will impinge on school efficacy (Murphy and Torre, 2015). A school’s vision statement and its logo should reflect educational policy that goes hand in hand with what actually transpires inside the school walls (Mundy ,2017).
Therefore, the main goals of this study are to: (a)Explore school policy features that are expressed by the school's logo; (b)Investigate the correspondence between features of the school’s logo and those of the written vision statement; (c) Examine the gap between policy expressed in the school's vision statement and logo and actual existing policy as perceived by the principal.
A qualitative methodology, the confirmatory data analysis approach was used, which is based on dimensions that appear in the research literature and in existing theories – and tests whether they also appear in the current study procedure. 24 Israeli elementary, junior high and high schools examined. We analyzed the logos and vision statement of the schools and also conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with the school principals to ascertain actual policy. After data collection, we compared school documents (i.e., the school logo and written vision statement), and principals' narratives. We examined whether the features reflected by the logo also appeared in the written vision and/or in actual policy as perceived by the principal. Each time, two out of the three dimensions were examined and compared to determine whether a correspondence existed between the different dimensions of the study according to the features they reflected.
Five main features were found to be expressed in educational policy: 1. Academic features are characteristics and values that reflect the need and importance of knowledge, research, learning, and excellence for reducing social disparities. 2. Traditional features are characteristics and values that reflect common cultural attitudes based on the country's history and the entirety of its heritage and development. 3. National features are characteristics and values that reflect attachment to and love for the state and its influence on the school, as well as encouraging commitment to the country and environs in which the school is situated. 4. Organizational features are characteristics and values that reflect innovation, efficiency, initiative and development 5. Social-ethical features are constitute a basis for the proper conduct of society. These features emphasize respect, fairness, equality, and contribution to the community. The different features are expressed in three dimensions: the school logo, the written vision statement, and policy actually implemented. In addition, we found that despite congruence between policy as expressed in the vision statement and actual policy, the logo reflected school policy only partially. The study provides a model for evaluating educational policy, organizational culture and organizational identity based on the school logo and the vision statement. Till now, no study had investigated the meaning of school logos, focusing in particular on principals' perceptions regarding declared and actual policies. By analyzing school logos this study generates a new ethical aspect as reflected by the logo – social ethics. The conclusions of the study can contribute to the development of educational policy design of schools in international perspective
Baruch, Y. (2005). On logos and business cards: The case of UK universities. In A. Rafaeli, & M.G. Pratt (Eds.), Artifacts and Organizations: Beyond Mere Symbolism (pp. 181-198). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Delmestri, G., Oberg, A., & Drori, G. (2015). The unbearable lightness of university branding: Cross-national patterns. International Studies of Management & Organization, 45(2), 121-136. Gurley, D. K., Peters, G. B., Collins, L. and Fifolt, M. (2015). Mission, vision, values, and goals: An exploration of key organizational statements and daily practice in schools. Journal of Educational Change, 16(2), 217-242. Hallinger, P. and Lu, J. (2014). Modelling the effects of principal leadership and school capacity on teacher professional learning in Hong Kong primary schools. School Leadership & Management, 34(5), 481-501. Kopaneva, I.M. (2013). Employee constructions of organizational mission and vision (Doctoral Dissertation). Washington State University, Washington. Mundy, S. A. (2017). Leadership in ‘schools within schools’: how do leaders translate shared vision into practice (Doctoral dissertation). University of Leicester, UK. Murphy, J. and Torre, D. (2015). Vision: essential scaffolding. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 43(2), 177-197. Ryu, G. (2015). The Missing Link of Value Congruence and Its Consequences: The Mediating Role of Employees’ Acceptance of Organizational Vision. Public Personnel Management, 44(4). 473-495.
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