ERG SES D 14, Communities and Education
A clearer understanding is emerging in the society that successful school’s activities depend on its culture. Generalising the concept of well (successfully) working schools, S. Balevičienė (2012) established the composite structure of factors that predetermine the success of activities, i.e., common, discussed and unanimously acknowledged values and objectives deriving from them; abilities of goal achievement; and professionalism of implemented activities. School culture predetermines pro-activeness of its members, meaningful activities, success, satisfaction, that is, a strong sense of identity. School culture plays a significant role in opportunities provided to each child. General school atmosphere and classroom climate directly influence teaching and learning (Dobranskienė, 2004). The primary concern of the principal and community in each school is shaping, development and improvement of school culture.
School culture is a relevant research area, which impacts upon the individual’s pro-activeness (Petty, 2006), optimisation of education (Marzano, 2005), highlights the importance of the process and the educative function of achievement assessment (Guskey, 2004). Up to now the universal definition of school culture, which is acceptable to everyone, has not been available and the majority of foreign authors perceive and determine organisational culture of a school in their own way. Some researchers (Deal, Kennedy, 1982) emphasise behaviour of organisation members, others (Newstrom, Davis, 2002; Schein, 1992; Jucevičienė, 2000; Ouchi, Wilkins, 1985) concentrate on value orientations. Analysing the school culture, the features and characteristics of organisational culture are also employed. Organisational culture (Lewis, 2002) manifests itself in obvious features such as history, rituals, language and jargon, interior and premise planning and designing or even employees’ dress code. One of the first definitions of organisational culture, which is regarded as classical, was presented by E. Schein (1992). According to him, organisational culture is a pattern of shared basic assumptions that has been learned by a group having solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, has to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.
School culture is a sphere in school, which unites a big number of factors, reflects educational outcomes, conditions the spread of personality maturity, marks exceptionality of the school and represents it.
The problem of school culture emerges in the field of personal, social and school relations. The role of institution creating conditions for personality’s expression in the social environment has been highlighting. The school culture has influence not only on person’s life but also that of society. The research problem: what culture of general education school is like and how it is evaluated in the context of school activity quality.
The methodological underpinning of the research: a historical systemic analytical analysis of the pedagogical-social process of the school culture over the period of five years. The main ideas of humanist philosophy, pedagogy and psychology are followed, which ground democratic relations among people. The theoretical framework of the research is constructed following humanist and constructivist theories, socio-cultural attitude towards the context of education. The basis of the whole reformed educational system is an individual and his/her culture (Lukšienė, 1993). The individual and culture are perceived coherently: culture is both a medium and a prerequisite for the individual’s self-expression and maturity. At the same time an individual is understood not only as a consumer of cultural goods but also as a successor and nurturer of human culture. Thus, the object of education is inevitably in the contexts of human culture (Targamadzė, 2014). The school culture has been the main core of school life and being at school and getting education have become a crucially essential part of a growing individual. The school culture is a medium, where a learner is regarded as a representative of society, who cognises in the process of education and creates in a specific situation and, simultaneously, expresses own attitude towards the most approximate environment, society and humankind. In the process of education this refers to the partnership-based relation between the individual and the environment and their interdependence. Therefore, it is important for the whole school community to participate in creation of own vision, mission, tradition as the only possibility of becoming exceptional as well as to contribute to educational development and personality maturity and simultaneously to high quality of school activities - progress of education. Following the theory of constructivism and scientific logic, the school culture was divided into themes and a big number of interdependent indicators. According to the general objectives of the scientific research, the peculiarities of the research object, the character of results, the research on the culture of general education school is of applied type (Bitinas, 1998). Similar to the majority of the applied works, the present study elaborates on general laws of school culture, processes of education and others. (Best, Kahn, 2002).
The scientific novelty of the research: for the first time the systemic analysis of the school culture from the pedagogical and social aspect was conducted, its concept and structure were determined, the expression of the school culture in the period of 2009–2014 was revealed and the aspects of unique school culture were analysed. The research results and conclusions expand the understanding of exceptional schools in society, allow to perceive the significant role of the school culture in bringing community together, nurturing public spirit, preparing young people for active creative work in the life of their country. The results and conclusions reveal that concern about the maturation of school culture and joint activities of all school community members fostering high school culture is directly related to the learners’ progress and high achievements. The expression of the school culture in Lithuanian general education school in the period of 2009–2014 presented in the study contributes to a more completed picture of education. The accumulated research data specify and expand knowledge of the direction in Lithuanian educational science and this is of particular importance in teacher education and professional development. For example, an education quality manager (areas of professional activities of education quality management) has to be able “to model the quality management system that complies with the needs of a specific educational organisation; to nurture quality culture in an educational organisation”. Moreover, the research data may be used pursuing creation of schools with unique culture, progress seeking schools and schools as cultural centres in society.
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00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
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Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
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Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
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