Development of a valid and reliable school culture audit

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Taylor, Timothy
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James E. Sweeney
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Curriculum and Instruction

The purpose of this study was to develop a valid and reliable school culture audit to identify values, normative behaviors, and culture gaps within a school. Following an extensive review of the literature, a national panel of experts and practitioners validated 31 key factors as an appropriate measure of school culture. These 31 factors were grouped into four subscales: (1) Group Support, (2) Achievement, (3) Motivation, and (4) Enabling;One-hundred eighty certificated staff members were randomly selected from six elementary, six junior high, and six senior high schools from six districts (two districts where K-12 2000) in central Iowa to pilot test the audit. Overall, estimates of internal consistency were satisfactory for an initial attempt at developing the reliability of the audit. Applications of Cronbach Alpha and Pearson Correlation coefficient formulas, provided modest but satisfactory estimates of reliability for the values, norms, and subscales;Respect, Collegiality, Teamwork, Belonging, and Caring were identified by the teachers in the sample as the most important values. Accountability and Responsibility were the least important values. Recognition, Value of Learning Time, Customer/Consumer Orientation, Support, and Positive Physical Setting were the most prevalent norms. Accountability, Positive Modeling Orientation, and Risk Taking were the least prevalent norms;T-tests for paired data revealed significant differences between the means of the values and the norms for 22 of 23 identified culture gaps. The largest culture gaps were found to exist between the values and norms for Management of the Learning Environment, Risk Taking, Constructive Disagreement, Positive Modeling Orientation, and High Expectations. Two of eight positive differences where norm means exceeded value means were statistically significant;Through analysis of variance, tests for homogeneity, significant differences between the mean scores of the 18 sampled schools were found to exist for one of the four Values subscales and for each of the four Norm subscales in the sampled schools.

Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1991