Positive School Culture: A Path to Quality Education | Education
People around the world are crying out for quality education and Ghana is no exception.
Every parent wants their child to attend the best schools that are often classified as “Grade A”, which begs the question: what makes a “Grade A” school?
Evidence suggests that the missing link in the school improvement conundrum has more to do with school culture than with elaborate curriculum changes and reforms.
Research shows that a positive school culture influences everything that happens in a school and has a significant impact on school quality and performance.
A notable story is that of the Springfield Renaissance School in Massachusetts, USA (USA), which has consistently achieved better academic results for its students and a 100% college acceptance rate for all. students for the past 10 consecutive years, since 2009.
Despite the link between a positive school culture and improving education, building and sustaining a positive school culture can be an uphill battle for many school leaders and is often overlooked.
School culture includes the beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that characterize a school, as well as the shared experiences inside and outside of school (traditions and celebrations) that create a sense of belonging to the community, to the family and the team.
School culture can be positive or negative depending on the circumstances of the school. A positive school culture fosters trust, collaboration, and improvement, while a negative school culture fosters mistrust and often overwhelms the best teachers and students.
Establishing a positive and sustainable school culture not only requires strong leadership, it also requires assessing existing strengths and identifying areas that need support and improvement to drive the necessary change.
Members of any healthy organization must agree on how things are done and what is worth doing. Common agreement on curricular and pedagogical components, as well as order and discipline, should be established by consensus rather than conformity to ensure commitment at all levels – valuing everyone’s place within a culture provides collective ownership in all areas of the school.
We are on the brink of an unprecedented learning crisis as education policies have moved away from zero tolerance, a whole school approach to positive school culture, which includes restorative practices and bullying prevention, becomes even more essential to the academic and emotional stability of our schools.
There is a need to put in place an action framework for school-based innovation in building the resilience of our education system that responds to the challenges we face daily in our schools.
Along with these strategies, we need to leverage best practices from our top performing schools to develop and sustain a positive school culture in all of our schools across the country.
Schools should be stimulating places for staff and students. The way people treat and appreciate each other, share their teaching strategies and support each other is important in today’s schools.
Relational vitality with students, parents, the community and especially each other is the foundation of a healthy school culture and the maximization of student learning.
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