School culture and structures exert an incredibly strong and often invisible influence on the continuous improvement of teaching and learning.
Two elements of the system that have a profound influence on performance are school culture and structures:
- Culture: Culture trumps innovation. School cultures determine whether teachers and administrators experiment with new approaches and trust one another in ways that enable meaningful collaboration.
- Structures: The most important structural feature that affects continuous improvement is whether teachers work in isolation or are members of effective instructional teams. Schools with high-functioning teams provide regularly-scheduled time for collaboration and robust professional development that informs and supports the work of the teams.
Therefore, a primary function of administrators and teacher leaders is to shape the school culture and provide structures that enable rather than interfere with continuous improvement.
Do you agree that “systems” have a strong influence on individual performance?