Improving Schools in Four Cultural Contexts

Ed Harris


I have attended many conferences and workshops on school improvement. While I always try to come away with at least one strategy or idea to apply, I typically find that it may work very well in some settings, may work only to a degree in others, and at times, may have no application at all.

The reason is actually quite simple: in applying any strategy or idea, context is important. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to educational improvement. Instead, we need contextualized approaches, which means we must understand both the strategies we are implementing and the cultural context in which we desire to implement them.

One approach to understanding context is found in the late anthropologist Mary Douglas’s framework known as Cultural Theory. Cultural Theory (CT) helps us comprehend the essence of contextual application because in CT, there aren’t endless kinds of cultures to comprehend. Rather, only four possible cultural contexts exist, and any one of those four can be understood by two symbiotic factors, grid and group.

The Grid Factor of CT

Grid refers to rules, roles and the autonomy individuals have in a work environment. Grid can be understood on a continuum of strong to weak.  For instance, in some schools, the grid factor is strong, and numerous roles and rules restrict individual autonomy. In strong-grid schools, upper administration assumes the role of determining textbooks and curricula, and the teacher’s role is to teach. In essence, strong-grid rules and roles regulate curriculum, instructional methods, and many routine procedures.

In weak-grid contexts, on the other hand, few regulations exist, and educators have autonomy in most areas of the learning process. Weak-grid environments allow considerable freedom in choosing curriculum, texts and methods. Few role distinctions exist, and indi­viduals are valued for their skills and talents. In weak-grid schools, teachers are not isolated and insulated from each other and typically possess a great deal of voice.

The Group Factor of CT

The group dimension of CT represents the extent to which people are committed to the overall school. Group deals with the holistic aspect of social incorporation and allegiance. Like grid, group has a continuum of strong to weak.  In strong-group contexts, explicit pressures influence group interactions. The survival of and allegiance to the school are more important than the survival of individual members within it. In strong-group settings, personal identification is entwined with the academic, athletic, and so­cial events at the school.

In weak-group environments, pressure for group-focused activities and relationships is relatively absent. Members of social and working subgroups tend to focus on short-term activities rather than long-term corporate ob­jectives, and their allegiance to the larger group is fluid. People are neither con­strained by, nor reliant upon, others in the context.


Four Cultural Contexts

In any school, the combination of strong and weak variations of grid and group define four possible cultural scenarios:

  • Individualist (Weak-Grid, Weak-Group),
  • Authoritarian (Strong-Grid, Weak-Group),
  • Hierarchy (Strong-Grid, Strong-Group), and
  • Egalitarian (Weak-Grid, Strong-Group).

The figure at the right depicts these four possible contexts. (click to enlarge)

 


The Individualist Culture

In individualist environments, relationships and experiences of the in­dividual are not constrained by imposed formal rules or traditions.  Role status and rewards are competitive and are contingent upon existing, tem­poral standards. Individualism encourages members to make the most of personal opportunities, seek risks that result in personal gain, and be competitive and proactive in carving their future.

Pros: 

  • Much Individual autonomy
  • Much personalized learning

Cons: 

  • Little long-term allegiance
  • High turnover of employees

When applying new strategies in Individualist Contexts remember to:

  1. Respect each teacher’s individuality and unique contribution,
  2. Allow teachers to play major role in decision making and implementation, and
  3. Recognize that teachers will not implement change until they are ready, motivated, and can see how the change will benefit them or their students.

 


The Authoritarian Culture

Authoritarian contexts offer little individual autonomy and classifying criteria focus on such factors as race, gender, family heritage, or ancestry. Individual behavior is fully defined and without ambiguity. little value is placed on group goals or survival. Authoritarianism pro­motes limited opportunity for advancement and opportunity, compliance to rules and procedures, lack of control of school goals and rewards by teachers, and autocratic rule by administrators.

Pros: 

  • Structure for consistency
  • Clear chain of command

Cons: 

  • Little autonomy
  • Little collective allegiance

When applying new strategies in Authoritarian Contexts remember to:

  1. Establish and maintain adequate vertical communication structure to ensure that information is transmitted from the decision maker to the implementers,
  2. Tie expectations to rules, roles and rewards, and
  3. Establish specific decision-making parameters and offer specific in­structions about how and why goals are to be achieved.

 


The Hierarchical Culture

In hierarchical contexts, individ­ual identification is heavily derived from group membership. Individual behavior is subject to controls exercised in the name of the group, and roles are hierarchical. At the top of the hierarchy, roles have unique value and power (generally limited to a small number of experts). All mem­bers understand that in a hierarchical system, what is good for the corpo­ration is good for the individual. Central-office administration, site ad­ministration, teachers, students, and parents work in a cohesive, integrated system for the benefit of all involved.

Pros: 

  • Strong allegiance
  • Strong corporate unity and identity

Cons: 

  • Group interests prioritized over individual
  • Pressure to consider group goals and activities

When applying new strategies in Hierarchical Contexts remember to:

  1. Create opportunities for shared decision making, such as committees or teams,
  2. Motivate through group-directed goals, activities, and rewards, and
  3. Focus communication on both the mission of the school and the importance and interdependence of all members of the organiza­tion.

 


The Egalitarian Culture

Egalitarian contexts have few role distinctions, and perpetuation of group goals and survival is highly valued. Egalitarianism places a high value on unity, equal distribution of teaching supplies and space, suspicion of those outside the school community who may want to help, conformity to the norms of the group, as well as rejection of author­itarian leadership and hierarchy.

Pros: 

  • Collegial relationships
  • Equity in resource distribution

Cons: 

  • Distrust of those outside the group
  • Pressure to consider group goals and activities

When applying new strategies to Egalitarian Contexts remember to:

  1. View teachers as a team of individuals, each equally im­portant, who are constructors of knowledge in a vibrant communal environment,
  2. Allow teachers latitude and control in making decisions, and
  3. Incorporate and reinforce lateral communication strategies.

Image Source


Share your comments:

In which of the four cultural contexts do you work?

How have new ideas been implemented?

Were the implementations successful? If not, how could they have been?

 

83 Comments

  1. Gary Ross

    Thank you for this blog. It gave a nice and easy to understand high level overview of Mary Douglas’ Cultural Theory.

    Reply
    • Ed Harris

      I am glad you liked it. Douglas’s typology has many uses and can be very beneficial to educators in a variety of ways.

      Reply
  2. Jeremiah Gregory

    What might ceremonies and rituals emphasize differently in an authoritarian context than they would in an egalitarian context?

    It seems both would have limited recognition of individual teacher innovation and ingenuity that would support new and better ceremonies and rituals. Ceremonies and rituals from times past could become obsolete or lack value added.

    A truly egalitarian culture that emphasizes the group over anything of the individual would likely stifle such innovation and ingenuity and stifle developing a culture in the school that brings about fresh new ideas that can better support ceremonies and rituals that build the school. Rituals and ceremonies would promote only the group and therefore stifle new advancements.

    By the same token, a truly authoritarian culture would also stifle such innovation and ingenuity, preventing their occurrence given that Individual behavior is fully defined and without ambiguity and there is a lack of control of school goals and rewards by teachers. Leadership would dictate rituals and ceremonies and teachers would have no buy-in to whatever is taking place. New rituals and ceremonies introduced or executed by leadership would have little impact on school improvement for the reasons aforementioned.

    Reply
    • Chris Eck

      “A truly egalitarian culture that emphasizes the group over anything of the individual would likely stifle such innovation and ingenuity and stifle developing a culture”, this statement really summarizes the egalitarian culture as they all work collaboratively but struggle to show initiative and rank as there is no hierarchy.

      Reply
      • Susan Kirk

        I agree with you, Chris, the truly egalitarian culture would only emphasize an individual accomplishment with regard to the effect on the group. There would be a focus on group collaboration, and individuals who chose to work alone would not receive as much social support or recognition.

        Reply
  3. Chris Eck

    In the authoritarian mindset there is high grid but low group, which would make the rituals in play from one sided and driven from a single leader. Whereas, an egalitarian group is high group but low grid, making them a very collaborative, group effort type of culture but this environment lacks a vision or true leader as they all consider themselves equal. In my experiences the ideal culture for rituals would be in more of a hierarchy type culture where both grid and group are high.

    Reply
    • Nichole Ramsey

      Chris,

      I agree a hierarchy environment can easily give an opportunity to create rituals and ceremonies. I do think it is important to include opportunity for individualism. I believe individual opportunity allows innovation for some people. I think each grid has some great aspects to include when thinking about becoming an administrator. I believe fostering relationships is important to get a better understanding everyone involved in order to create the right “grid”. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
      • Susan Kirk

        Nichole,
        I agree there are positive “aspects to include when thinking about becoming an administrator. I think the key to CT is that you, the administrator, can assess the culture of the institution and the personalities of the individuals within the institution. From this vantage, we can match people and positions that will reduce turnover and maintain a positive culture that can focus on stated objectives.

        Reply
    • Joshua Taylor

      Chris, I think I agree with you on Hierarchy being the best environment for rituals. In a hierarchy, the rituals have clear meanings because there is still a strong structure, but there is also a strong sense of group that provides depth and commitment to the whole, making the rituals more meaningful.

      Reply
  4. Rye Donohue

    What might ceremonies and rituals emphasize differently in an authoritarian context than they would in an egalitarian context?

    It is clear that in an authoritarian context ceremonies and rituals would emphasize the task and efficient completion of the task. Contrasting egalitarian context, these ceremonies would be established by administration and ensured that they had control over the outcomes. It would also be difficult to see progression or change in these rituals unless administration changed. The investment from teachers may be low and at times rituals and ceremonies could be uncomfortable to many.

    Reply
  5. Nichole Ramsey

    In authoritarian environment the rituals and ceremonies would be given by the administrator only. The rituals or ceremonies would be set into place for teachers to uphold without questions or participation in the ideals.

    However, in a equalitarian environment it would be hard to understand what the ritual or ceremony of the group would be. Everything would be equally distributed among the group, but there would still be a sense of unknown. No one to take full leadership to communicate the overall ideals of the group.

    For me personally, I think mixing hierarchy with individual opportunity is a great way to give full participation of all involved in the educational system to create symbols, rituals, and ceremonies. It would allow a leader to facilitate goals and regulations, while maintaining the overall goal for all those involved. It also could allow students and staff to become individual innovative learners/leaders.

    Reply
    • Jeremiah Gregory

      I agree. Having “buy in” by all faculty and staff is important for building any type of culture in a school.

      Reply
      • J. Kody Engle

        Buy in is of utmost importance if a school’s ceremonial procedures are to have any significance among its participants.

        Reply
    • Susan Kirk

      Do you think it is possible to have a “pseudo” type of culture? For instance, it might be an authoritarian environment, but on the surface tasks are delegated to enhance the picture of collegiality. I think sometimes environments are harder to predict because you may have a very top-down culture, but the image of a “family” collaboration is fostered.

      Reply
  6. J. Kody Engle

    Ceremonies and rituals that are carried out in an authoritarian structure are easily manipulated to get what one individual might want rather than having the participants bought into the process. However, the more egalitarian that the ritual/ceremony becomes, one runs the risk of accomplishing very little. While each of these might be beneficial in certain settings, they are each somewhat problematic in the educational arena. Perhaps something in the middle of each would best be utilized in schools; something like the hierarchical culture. There are prominent figures who help drive the ceremonial procedures, but each member has the opportunity of buying into the ritualism that is manifested.

    Reply
    • Dina McClellan

      I agree that in the educational arena that the hierarchical culture would beneficial. The administration and department leadership could promote procedures with the input and buy-in from the rest of the staff.

      Reply
    • Gregory Smith

      Kody, I think there is a great deal to said about the moderation of each culture. I think you can go to the extremes of any of these four models and have it detract from the learning environment.

      Reply
    • Kelsee Dyess

      I agree that a balance between the two context, such as, the hierarchical organization would be most beneficial in the school environment. An authoritarian approach can create morale issues, but an egalitarian approach can be unorganized and ineffective. To cultivate student learning, foster a positive school culture, and effectively utilize ceremonies/rituals, I believe one must integrate a balanced approach.

      Reply
  7. Joshua Taylor

    *What might ceremonies and rituals emphasize differently in an authoritarian context than they would in an egalitarian context?
    In an authoritarian context, ceremonies and rituals would tend to celebrate consistency, dedication to the rules, and those who have followed the program precisely. Leadership would create rituals to celebrate those who have followed the strict grid. However, in an egalitarian context, the rituals would focus more on those who create strong groups and teams. The leadership would want to celebrate teams more than individuals. An authoritarian school might create a ceremony to honor individuals for their years of service. But an egalitarian school might create a ceremony to celebrate a team of teachers who didn’t let a single student fail in their classes for the term. An authoritarian leader might create a daily ritual in the announcements that highlighted a student for their strong participation in a school reading program, but an egalitarian school would create a daily ritual that celebrated groups of students in their clubs who got together to help clean up the school.

    Reply
    • Cherith Unruh

      Mr. Taylor, I appreciate your descriptions of the differences in cultures. That really helped me understand what each looks like within the school culture. I can think of examples of each culture from two very different principals.

      Reply
    • Susie Buser

      Mr.Taylor-
      What an egalitarian group you have created with the students involved in SMAC-Stillwater Makes a Change! You have created an environment where all members are focused solely on doing what is best for the greater good-in this instance which ever charity is being served. As a parent and a fellow educator, I appreciate the lessons this experiences provides the students, faculty, staff, and community!

      Reply
    • Susan Kirk

      Joshua,
      I think you summed up an authoritarian celebration very well! People who know their place and promote the values of the institution are celebrated. Do you think this type of environment encourages any type of spontaneity or creativity? I don’t, which is why I am so consistently surprised to find it exists within educational institutions. Your post was great.

      Reply
    • Tamara Danley

      Mr. Taylor,

      After reading your post, I have a much greater understanding of egalitarian. I honestly viewed egalitarian from a biased negative point of view, but celebrate teams of people is a wonderful way to create rituals. I do this with my classes and with my department.

      Reply
  8. Susie Buser

    In an authoritarian context rituals and ceremonies would focus on individual performance rather that group performance. Individuals may be rewarded for achieving individualized goals or meeting specific deadlines. The celebrations are very rigid and done the same way every time with little variation. This type of context would best serve a sales team where individuals are much more concerned with their own personal achievement over that of the groups.
    On the other hand in an egalitarian context, rewards and recognition would be given when the group meets a goal. The celebrations would happen more often as research has shown that student performance is elevated by frequently celebrating the small successes. They would be less structured and varied in presentation and reward. This context would best serve a school setting as everyone’s goal is ultimately student achievement.

    Reply
    • Kathryn Knowles

      Excellent descriptions and very clear. I like the analogies of sales teams and group goals.

      Reply
    • Gregory Smith

      I agree that the egalitarian culture in many ways is better suited to the classroom.

      Reply
  9. Cherith Unruh

    In an authoritarian culture the emphasis of rituals would be determined from the top down. Ceremonies might reward perfect attendance or straight A’s. These should be recognized, but would be especially important in a culture that stresses following the rules.

    In an egalitarian culture, ceremonies and rituals would reflect more democratic practices where all stakeholders have a voice. These rewards would look something like team STEM challenge rewards or good character recognition.

    I have worked in both cultures and while I prefer egalitarian, I can see the pros and cons of both. Balance, in my opinion, makes for a healthy workplace.

    Reply
    • Sarah Freeman

      Hi Cherith,

      Thank you for you insight. When looking at the egalitarian context, I personally feel as though it is hard to make ‘hard’ decisions as a group, even when goals are shared. I feel as though a hierarchal context works best in large districts, especially when there are large class sizes and inexperienced teachers.

      Reply
  10. Susan Kirk

    Ceremonies in an authoritarian context might place the emphasis on positions of leadership, crediting the leaders. Conversely, egalitarian ceremonies would recognize teams that accomplished stated objectives. I attended a conference where it was a mixed approach: the conference was lead by the “authorities” and conversations and accomplishments were about the great leadership and their accomplishments. One leader chose to bring her team to the podium and shared credit for her accomplishments as she also acknowledged the participation of the team. This might not be pure egalitarian, since she obviously was the authority, however, she did recognize teamwork and participation. She definitely exhibited the hierarchy even as she praised the team.
    I work in an authoritarian institution: top-down structure, formal lines of communication. My ideas may never move above my division chair if she doesn’t choose to share them. Administration creates committees that are staffed by faculty volunteers. However, the ideas from the committees go back to administration. If administration values the ideas, they are shared at an in-service, but very little effort goes into creating change or the adoption of new ideas, mostly because the ideas are presented as here it is, so do it. True professional development and collaboration do not take place. “Successful programs” are always those that are led by administrators.

    Reply
    • Tommie Grant

      That must be so frustrating – not having new ideas discussed or implemented. Has anyone asked why they (administration) is not supportive of committee work/ideas?

      I’m guessing that the wheel gets reinvented frequently at your school (eye roll and shrug).

      Reply
      • Susan Kirk

        Tommie,
        I appreciated your response. Yes, the wheel is frequently reinvented, however, it never rolls! Guess this is a type of job security, or a chosen form of authority among admin. But it really does reduce faculty morale. Recently they paid an organization to assess the school culture.

        Reply
  11. Tommie Grant

    In my school, we say the Pledge of Allegiance and the Oklahoma Flag Salute at the beginning of every single school day. To me, these are authoritarian types of rituals in that we are pledging faithfulness to a body that is greater (country and state) than one’s own self. Following the pledge and salute, we recite our school creed. Listed below, you can see that it is focused on the betterment of the student population and creating equality and goodwill for all.

    Stillwater Middle School Creed:
    We are Pioneers, laying the path of our future. We will be successful in life by being committed to respect, responsibility and positive relationships. We will strive to become better versions of ourselves by overcoming challenges. We will do what we can and embrace what is new. We are Pioneers!

    Reply
    • Jacklyn Henley

      It is interesting that you chose the reciting of your school creed as an example of egalitarianism (even if its words focus on equality) because I see this daily act as an authoritarian ritual like the Pledge of Allegiance and flag salute.

      Reply
  12. Kathryn Knowles

    *What might ceremonies and rituals emphasize differently in an authoritarian context than they would in an egalitarian context? Ceremonies and rituals in an authoritarian context would emphasize those who have learned to be compliant. For example, those students who have earned good grades because they always do what is asked of them. They have learned that within this structure, they may not necessarily have to learn the material, but they always complete their work and do what is expected of them. In an egalitarian context, these same students would be celebrated for learning of the material, through standards-based grading. They may not have A’s,but they would be celebrated for their learning. Additionally, in this context, their might be an emphasis on the importance of social/emotional learning as well as academic learning. This kind of learning may be more difficult to quantify, which might make those in an authoritarian culture uncomfortable, but it would be equally important in these contexts.

    Reply
    • Jenny Ochwo

      Kathryn,
      I agree with your view between the two. Authoritarian contexts can often have people who enjoy holding all the power. Egalitarian contexts seek to empower those within the context, not just a select few. As you mentioned regarding the grades, egalitarian rituals often upset those who are used to and enjoy holding the power of decision making.

      Reply
  13. Tamara Danley

    What might ceremonies and rituals emphasize differently in an authoritarian context than they would in an egalitarian context? Last night, I asked my admin team how they viewed our principal’s leadership style? I asked the same question from the principal. What they all said when along with my views. I believe we are somewhere in the middle between authoritarian and egalitarian at our school. Our principal has bosses to answer to and directives to give and implement, but as teachers we are given the autonomy to manage our classrooms and build relationships with faculty, staff, and students. When we have new ideas, we are listened to and most of the time if we are doing something to improve school culture and learning, we are given the green light. We have to abide by that hierarchy and sometimes they squash our dreams, but we also have respect, trust, and freedom to be creative in how we teach that curriculum, etc.

    Reply
    • K Dalton

      Tamara – I agree with you that most schools are a mesh of two or more of the cultural contexts. It boils down to the students coming to school to learn, teachers teaching to the best of their abilities within their given contexts and administration keeping the business side in check while attending to the needs of school stakeholders. Transparency and communication are key, flowing both vertically and horizontally, within and without of the school building. Sincere relational skills are also critical and important in bestowing value upon each school community member.

      Reply
    • Doug Ruffner

      Tamara, really spot on about a hybrid of frames being useful and beneficial to the school demesne.

      Reply
  14. K Dalton

    Authoritarianism, in schools, was the de facto 20th Century model. Superintendents and Principals were in charge of their districts and schools, teachers were to teach – with little to no opportunity for advancement, everyone complied with rules and procedures and these were handed out from the top down. Teacher evaluations were one type of ritual seen more as something that could affect teacher pay as opposed to a collaborative effort to boost student outcomes. Celebrations and rituals also appeared in the form of end-of-year awards assemblies for students and some similar type of recognition ritual for teachers. Interestingly, there is a plethora of these types of school cultures still in existence.

    Egalitarianism stems more from the bottom-up. In a school scenario, this might be a more evolved representation of the standard 20th Century model. In this case, teams of teachers are collaborating in the best interests of the students. Student achievements and victories are celebrated via daily rituals. Teachers band together and support each other in numerous ways. In one school where I was employed, this took on the form of monthly pot-lucks for those who had birthdays in that month and seasonal games such as “Secret Pals”.

    Reply
  15. Dina McClellan

    What might ceremonies and rituals emphasize differently in an authoritarian context than they would in an egalitarian context?

    Authoritarian ceremonies and rituals seem to be more strict on what is celebrated, individual test scores, performance, etc. Whereas, egalitarian ceremonies and rituals are focusing on groups and teams.

    Education seems to flourish in a hierarchical context with multiple layers of with input from all parties.

    Reply
    • Sarah Freeman

      Hi Dina,

      I agree with your thoughts. I think a hierarchal context works best in education. This sounds strange, but I feel like a lot of buildings I have worked in have a hierarchal context however, within the hierarchy — at each level — there are ‘groups’/egalitarian context that is underlying within each hierarchal level. I

      Reply
  16. Gregory Smith

    One of things that these cultures emphasize differently is manner in which it deals with people and the manner in which rules are expected to be followed.

    This year at my school we have experienced the authoritarian culture and last year our former principal employed the egalitarian culture. Day 1 of the authoritarian system was a rough transition for me! I was 8 minutes late for our first faculty meeting of the new year and my new principal called me out in front of the faculty, telling us that sort of behavior was unacceptable and would not be tolerated. My previous principal used the first half hour of the first faculty meeting as a light breakfast and mingle, so there was some wiggle room for the starting time. The entire faculty has had to adjust from the egalitarian culture where everyone had a voice and contributed to this authoritarian culture. Many are actually leaving teaching as a result.

    Reply
    • B. Smith

      How cool that you have had the chance to experience both culture types in such a short period of time! I went from a very authoritarian principal to a very egalitarian culture and the atmosphere is so much more relaxed and comfortable. It gives me the courage and passion to try new things while teaching and to be creative.

      Reply
    • Doug Ruffner

      So sorry, Greg! My first year teaching was under an exceedingly authoritarian leader and I almost did not continue with teaching!

      Reply
  17. Edward N. Smith

    At my current site, we tend to operate in an Egalitarian structure, with some hints of hierarchy. There is a strong sense of loyalty to the group (both the site and the district) as well as to our leaders. That said, there is also an equal distribution of attention and resources across these areas. Relationships between departments, grades, and across the group are very welcoming and pleasing.

    This also means there is an approach to those from different groups as being outsiders. Perhaps not to the degree of suspicion or hostility, but certainly a feeling of being not in the group. Furthermore, the drive of preserving the “greater good,” as it were, is central in most–if not all–official functions.

    Because of the strong loyalty to the overall group, implementing new ideas often relies on this foundation–we do this because it is for the “greater good.” I should emphasize that this is more than a mere “buy-in.” The idea of a greater cause and connection with the site and district stems from a working relationship where the teacher, leaders, and district work for and with one another–this last part can be a sticking point when implementing new programs with students who feel disenfranchised and separated from the group. Overcoming this stumbling block, by changing behavior and perception, will help increase success in future projects.

    Reply
  18. Kelsee Dyess

    What might ceremonies and rituals emphasize differently in an authoritarian context than they would in an egalitarian context?

    In an authoritarian context, I believe ceremonies and rituals would be more leader-centered, whereas, in an egalitarian context, they would be more community-centered. Although the two opposing contexts do have strengths, I believe their weaknesses outweigh the strengths in cultivating an effective work environment for all stakeholders. I believe there needs to be a balance between leadership and community in cultivating a school environment. Therefore, in my opinion, a hierarchy would be the most beneficial context for a school to be effective in cultivating culture and student learning.

    Reply
  19. Brielle Smith

    I think the main difference would be who is coming up with the ceremonies and rituals, who is implementing them and why. If it is authoritarian, its coming from the main leader and the boss is telling the teachers what and how to teach. If we are looking at rituals and ceremonies from an egalitarian, they most likely have been created as a group of teachers, voted on, and implemented. The school I am at is very egalitarian, where the teachers have complete creative freedom to be passionate and engaging. I think it would be hard to be passionate and creative with an authoritarian boss.

    Reply
    • Sarah Freeman

      Good points Brielle!

      In a learning organization I am apart of we went from having a hierarchal culture, to a egalitarian culture. This culture has been difficult due to everyone feeling as though they are equal. Although we have a strong relationship with each other in the organization, people feel as though everyone can each ‘equally’ add their input/two cents when issues arise. This makes it difficult because there are times when people within this group need to be ‘lead’ — everyone can add their input, but no one can make the decision. We need a leader that can say what we need to do and how we are going to do it — once they have heard all sides from the group. Therefore, I feel a though when there is too much pressure on the group to make the decisions this causes conflict — we need someone to help make them for us.

      Reply
  20. doug ruffner

    In an authoritarian context, ceremonies and rituals would only emphasize honoring those who jumped through the hoops of best behavior and rigid adherence to the expected standards and mores of the governing body. Creativity and innovation cannot be allowed in that context as it would single you out as a possible usurper to those in control.

    Almost the same may be said about the egalitarian context. Creativity and innovation cannot be allowed, for they would make you stand out from the collective; are you trying to be above the rest of us by standing out.

    Reply
  21. Sarah Freeman

    What might ceremonies and rituals emphasize differently in an authoritarian context than they would in an egalitarian context?

    Ceremonies and rituals in an authoritarian context have a high emphasis on policies and procedures, and maintaining order. These are usually defined and decided upon by the school leader, and then distributed to the teachers. These ceremonies and rituals are not relationship based, and do not acquire a community lead learning organization. However, egalitarian ceremonies and rituals rely on relationship building, shared vision/mission/goals, and equal distribution of work within the learning organization. These groups view their members as equal.

    Reply
    • Mohazobyn Panchoo

      Yes, I agree. Well put! It seems like the best place would be a balance between individualism and the collective. However, individualistic ideals cannot stray too far from the collective if there is to success. I think the key would be to allow individual voices to collectively craft the group’s goals!

      Reply
  22. Mohazobyn Panchoo

    Within the Egalitarian context, ceremonies and rituals showcase the efforts and successes of the group and not the individual. The effect, through loss of autonomy and individualism, would be a reluctance to infuse new or more creative ideas into the enviroment.
    The authoritarian context although higher in individualistic definitions is controlled by the administrators who are the authority and who define what strategy and success look like. Ceremonies and rituals in this environment celebrate and emphasize the ideals of the leader and not necessarily those of the individual.
    We strive to become more corroborative (corporate/hierarchical) but with a collective sense of buy-in. We work together to support a shared vision among our teachers and staff and encourage input and collaboration from individuals as we craft a shared vision. This is a work in progress, made even less complete because typically we have about 12-17 new staff every school year.

    Reply
  23. Jacklyn Henley

    Authoritarians would emphasize rituals that are very structured such as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or a school song or creed. These teach children to fall in line and follow the rules and assume their role in the school culture.

    Egalitarians would emphasize rituals that focus more on connections such as greetings and taking turns being helpful with a job chart or allowing students to give morning announcements. These teach children to work together and take ownership in the things that happen in their school and community.

    Reply
    • Dudley Darrow

      Jacklyn, That is a great analogy and I agree that there are times that we need to be Authoritarians and Egalitarian within a school. When times are difficult, I struggle with not taking over and being authoritarian when I could stay calm and let it work itself out. A school with a Hierarchy culture is the goal, but it is not easy getting there!

      Reply
  24. Jenny Ochwo

    What might ceremonies and rituals emphasize differently in an authoritarian context than they would in an egalitarian context?
    Many schools today are still operating under an authoritarian context. Authoritarian contexts seek to get the job done but only through the input of the top employees. Egalitarian contexts, however, seek to get the job done through the input of many employees of various levels. In my experience, ceremonies and rituals in authoritarian contexts tend to be about the organization as the top employees want it to be. These often are completed well, but there’s little personalization to these items. In the egalitarian contexts I have experienced, each member of the team has valued input so that the ceremonies and rituals are meaningful to them as well as the students.

    Reply
  25. Steve N

    I feel my organization operates in these three primary cultures of context which are egalitarian, hierarchy, and authoritarian. I believe our program functions best in a egalitarian context, but we are effected by the hierarchy & authoritarian at times.

    New ideas have been implemented through an advisory board that helps guide us through a SWOT analysis from stakeholders in the community. These suggestions are reviewed by our egalitarian team along with our Executive Administration team.

    We were successful in our implementation because the goals were realistic and achievable through our short-term and long-term goals.

    Reply
  26. Kim Castaldi

    In which of the four cultural contexts do you work?
    I believe I work in an authoritarian environment. Mainly because, while I think many of us have some great ideas and have presented many aspects of change, they fall on deaf ears. While we are told what the goal is (somewhat), we have no say in how to get there. Our job is to stay in our office and stay busy. While I love to have time in my office to work on things, I think visiting schools is much more powerful.
    How have new ideas been implemented?
    Mostly new ideas are passed down to us like the ten commandments. However, most of the time, these new ideas are introduced but never see the light of day afterward.
    Were the implementations successful? If not, how could they have been?
    Like I said above, not very many ideas have made it to fruition. The one word that seems to come to mind often is lost. We are sheep that need a sheppard.

    Reply
    • Mary Sloat

      I’m fortunate to work in both Hierarchical and Egalitarian Cultures. Groups working collaboratively are extremely important and rarely does one individual have all the power (although it has happened).

      New ideas are implemented when a group and/or an individual submits them. However, school leadership almost always considers the impact of the decision on the majority and not how financially feasibly or easy it would be. Our local education association is very powerful because of its group mentality and it has successfully negotiated important changes and benefits for our entire staff. So, yes, the implementation of receiving extra benefit way was successful this year. Our administration does whatever it possibly can to compromise or meet our requests.

      Reply
  27. Tania

    Great comments!

    Reply
  28. Coleman Hickman

    I believe the school district I worked in fell into the Hierarchical Culture area. The sentence that helped me come to my conclusion is “Central-office administration, site administration, teachers, students, and parents work in a cohesive, integrated system for the benefit of all involved.” To me, this is what my district stood for and believed in, daily. The is a feel on the campus that I don’t think is the same everywhere. People wanted others to know where we were from and honestly had the strong corporate unity and identity. New ideas are implemented in many ways. Some are passed down by the administration and others are formulated through focus groups and other collaborative opportunities. My school did a great job seeing that these ideas were implemented, even if it was short lived. They wanted to give the opportunity for change and improvement. As stated before, not all of the implementations were successful, but the teachers were given opportunities to succeed with the new ideas, some worked and some did not.

    Reply
    • Denise Wake

      The sentence that you quoted is the sentence that convinced me as well. I think that sentence says it all about how a school should function. Everyone working for the betterment of all.

      Reply
  29. Trent J. Swanson

    I believe the two cultural contexts that would resemble my place of work (school) would fall slightly under the Individualists and mainly Egalitarian quadrant. The main reason I would say Individualists is in name alone. I serve at an alternative high school and the instruction we provide is very individualized for each student and self paced. The student and teachers work together to create an individualized path towards graduation for the student. This path is created based upon the student’s strengths, weaknesses and needs.

    Regarding the Egalitarian context of the school, I believe this is the dominant culture. As a staff, we have the responsibility of carefully creating a path of success for each student on a case by case basis. However, this can be in direct conflict with a Egalitarian style of our school model which utilizes school wide policies regarding student performance. We collectively support our students through an Advisor / Advisee class which supports the overall academic and character education. This also represents the fundamental goals of our school. At our school each, we have to take into consideration each situation and identify ways we can support the individual student collectively as a school. This includes staff having active roles in decision making, increasing the school’s outreach and participation within the community, authority defined and determined by support of the communal group, and decision making governed largely by group consensus. A main component of our school is teacher input regarding student and school wide decisions. Each member is expected to be an active participant. This is out of necessity, due to our size and the expectations by other staff members and the students they represent. Each staff member acts as a representative “voice” for the students and our school to collectively support our school community.

    Reply
    • Dudley Darrow

      I am not joking or exaggerating, but I actually took a picture of the Four Cultural Context grid and sent it to my assistant principals and our counselors at the school I work at. I love it!

      Unfortunately, our school does not always function at the Hierarchy level, but that is our goal. There are times that it has to be Authoritarian, especially when there are mandates from central office..
      Hierarchy has a time and place unfortunately, especially with teaching schedules and room assignments.

      But our overall goal it the Hierarchy level and as a leadership group, I want our team to shoot for this!

      Reply
  30. William Doty

    Overall I’d characterize a lot of my teaching experience as mostly authoritarian or hierarchical in nature. Usually at the start of the year we get the big sales push for that year. It’ll be some new rubric we evaluate each other with informally, something extra to have to write on the board every day, etc. As is often the case with the Good Idea Fairy, these new things are dropped on staff with little staff input, are rarely practiced, and whatever data from these experiments that could be refined and collated isn’t.

    Reply
  31. Karla Dyess

    In which of the four cultural contexts do you work?

    How have new ideas been implemented?

    Were the implementations successful? If not, how could they have been?

    I come from the perspective at the district level so I know it may vary from site to site within the district, however, in my opinion, I feel I work in as mainly hierarchial. It is group centered and consideration of what is best for students and student learning is always at the forefront.
    The implementation of new ideas is a challenge with a larger sized school district. There is great effort to inform all stakeholders, provide training and reinforce it regularly, however, there are times things do fall off the radar. Another roadblock we have faced with new ideas is funding. You can initiate a new idea and think you have everything in place, but over the last 7 years funding has been so erratic, unfortunately initiatives have had to fall to the wayside because of the budget crisis. Hopefully that may change now.
    The most successful implementation happens when a lot of stakeholder are involved in the process. It’s important to hear from all the stakeholder groups, include different groups in the process and then share the messaging process with them.

    Reply
  32. Andrea Haken

    In which of the four cultural contexts do you work?
    How have new ideas been implemented?
    Were the implementations successful? If not, how could they have been?

    Since I work at an university I believe I work in an Egalitarian culture because I have my own role within my group. As a matter of fact, I am the only one that does what I do in my immediate environment, but there are others across the campus that have similar roles just in different disciplines. I have a liaison role in that manner because there is a larger unit that is dedicated to my actual role where others relate to challenges faced but I am located in an environment dedicated to student services and includes other specialties.

    New ideas are not implemented without push back. I have been in staff meetings concerning new policies and procedures that became very hostile. Sometimes it is with blame from outside our immediate group which basically means “deal with it” and other times it is a change that needs to occur internal to make work “better”. Either way it tends to not be well received and it is likely because of “change”. People do not like change. They get set in their ways and when that gets interrupted it disrupts their flow. I’ve noticed when changes are coming down the pipeline that they are communicated as annoying or with positive outlook. I’ve also noticed that neither way makes others happy.

    Reply
  33. Denise Wake

    In which of the four cultural contexts do you work?
    How have new ideas been implemented?
    Were the implementations successful? If not, how could they have been?

    I believe I work in a cultural of hierarchical contexts. Central-office administration, site ad­ministration, teachers, students, and parents work in a cohesive, integrated system for the benefit of all involved is the statement that really convinced me that my school is in the hierarchical contexts. Our central office really focuses on all stakeholders working together in order to make the best decisions for all. Since I have only been in the district for a year the one new thing they implemented across the district is the Lexia program. I think for the first year, implementation when well. We had training before school across the district and on different days. Then we also had additional trainings throughout the year.

    Reply
  34. Ross Ashcraft

    I worked at an organization that prided itself on being egalitarian. When in fact they were very hierarchical. Initially, this was very comforting to me as a new employee as it was something I was familiar. But over the years I quickly became aware of the juxtaposition of the words that were used in meetings and the actual physical practice. In some respects, I think this culture could have benefited from Simply choosing hierarchal instead of saying one thing and practicing another.

    For example: an attempt was made to come up with new goals for the coming year. People were asked their opinion and encouraged to get together in groups. In fact the CEO decided what the goals were and we had a meeting where she delivered those goals to us. It was a waste of time and energy. Her goals were great! But they weren’t our goals and therefore her employees couldn’t really get behind them because we were not a part of the process. She was a good leader from her cultural point of view. I think we all could have been leaders and made the company that much stronger.

    Reply
    • Chuck Louviere

      Hey Ross, I agree about the egalitarian in hierarchy’s clothing. It seems that at times input is an illusion and the decision has already been made.

      Reply
  35. BJ McBride

    From a site level, my building is hands down the best. The reason that I say this is because there is an equal balance from this aspect, in that we (as classroom teachers) have the ability to do our jobs, yet we know that the chain of command exists.

    Considering the district level, I would say hierarchical. However, we are in a transition period with leadership changes, so I am excited to see what direction our district takes over the course of the next year!

    As for new ideas, etc., I am not sure as this is only going to be my second year in the district. Like previously mentioned, we are transitioning into a new era of leadership, so I think with that, there will be new ideas implemented and changes that are made.

    Reply
  36. Amy Presley

    In which of the four cultural contexts do you work?
    I see my work situation as heiarchical, with a lot of top-down innitiatives. However, at the site level there is more room for bottom-up ideas/practices. Example: when I joined the district a few years back there was a board policy of “two grades per week” & I went to my Supervisor uncomfortable with this (I preferred a more Assessment for Learning approach). He agreed to let me bend the rules a bit by allowing my use of retakes/redos to replace the idea of two new and separate grades per week. Yet, I still had to get that cleared “up the ladder” (his exact phrase).

    How have new ideas been implemented?
    I suppose that depends on the breadth of the idea. Local, department (or even site-based) ideas have a tendency to spread organicslly before they became formal. District-wide practices often become part of the evaluation discussions.

    Were the implementations successful? If not, how could they have been?
    Again, that would depend on your definition of success – are staff members doing the innitiative out of compliance? Or, have staff members “bought in”?
    One thing the district is trying to include more of is standard based grading at the secondary levels. While I applaud this move, I see a need at the site levels for that philosophical understanding before and physicall changes such as a shift from the traditional system of letter grades. Part of the downfall of being a large district is this philosophical disconnect that can happen. Especially when there is little to no funding for professional development. One district I know of approached this large district issue by requiring all new staff members to do quarterly half-day PD sessions for the first three years of employemnt with the district (the district paid for subs & meetings were during the school day). The first year one worked within the district, the focus was classroom management – the intent was to reduce turnover. The second year was unpacking standards & curriculum (local, state, and national organization). The goal here was to get teachers identifying key standards and separating “want to teach” from “responsible for teaching”. The third year was about assessments – mapping them out, how to use them for various outcomes, and how to write quality assessments. This led to talks on standards-based assessments and better vertical allignment for skill expectations.
    Not only did this help define the shared terminology used, but it helped build cross-site and cross-level connections that many continued to nuture after the perscribed mettings were complete.

    Reply
  37. Chuck Louviere

    In which of the four cultural contexts do you work?
    I’m with Ross on this one. I think there are organizations who promote themselves as egalitarian but in reality are more of a hierarchy.

    How have new ideas been implemented?
    I teach college computer science courses. I am the instructor and make adjustments as necessary (yay for academic freedom, ). But, courses are pretty much handed to us already designed.

    Were the implementations successful? If not, how could they have been?
    Ok, so I just went to a training session a few months ago (thank you for the stipend). This was more of a “this is how it’s going to be” session rather than a “we’d like to make some improvements, do you have any ideas or recommendations” session. Just because I’m being paid doesn’t mean there is automatic buy-in but thank you for the candy. We shall see how the new structure works (fall out?) in the fall. Summer teachers are currently working through it.

    Reply
  38. Ellen Vannoy

    In which of the four cultural contexts do you work?I think I work within a hierarchy. There is much individual autonomy and personalized learning is valued. For example, I am currently at a conference for world language teachers where I am literally the only person without a second language. However, I sought to explore how administrators evaluate when the delivery is not in the language of the elevator. My district supported me. However, new ideas have been implemented using a very top down system concerning the world language programs. Teachers were told what curriculum would be taught versus having input into the process. A cohort of teacher experts ranging from elementary to high school language teachers were not asked to voice their expertise. Within this new system the technology adopted was dictated to teachers. They tried to explain why that adoption was not best for language acquisition and it fell on deaf ears. Implementations that have been successful have been the district wide move to proficiency based assessments. This process of pilot groups, teacher input, and data based research created an egalitarian culture in which the implementation was successful because teachers felt buy in and ownership of the process.

    Reply
  39. Robin Saputo

    In which of the four cultural contexts do you work?
    This is a fairly complex question in that depending on the task at hand I feel two of the cultural contexts apply. First I would say I work in the Hierarchical area, but the current administrator is very much group orientated as well. Where the Egalitarian approach is not consistent with my workplace is that my administrator welcomes all group input, whether they are in the inner circle group or not.

    How have new ideas been implemented?
    New ideas are presented to the staff and then teams are usually built to carry out those tasks. Those teams are developed by interest based, or asked by the administrator who feels your strengths would be an asset to the team.

    Were the implementations successful? If not, how could they have been?
    I would say the new ideas implemented were almost always successful. One of the reasons is that the group was working towards a common goal, and the administrator acted as a guide on the side. Not in an authoritarian style, but as a mentor and part of the team to ensure we were successful in completing our goal.

    Reply
  40. Walter Howell

    In which of the four cultural contexts do you work?

    I spent some time thinking about this one. It’s not easy to settle completely, but I think that my workplace is mostly situated in hierarchy context. While I like to think our teachers have quite a bit of freedom and autonomy, we are fairly high in Grid. For example, we have set procedures and protocols for many things at school. We have an agreed-upon curriculum for each course and the teachers agree to follow the curriculum map, there is a procedure for selecting textbooks and curriculum across courses and departments, etc. The teachers do have freedom in how they choose to teach concepts, not two are exactly the same. We also try to have high levels of collective agreement in school goals. Therefore, we hope to be high in Group. We may fall short at times, but we are working on it!

    How have new ideas been implemented?

    We rely on our PLCs, Department Head meetings and leadership team meetings to make improvements and develop new ideas. Our principal is open to change, and welcomes input. This is not to say that he makes all decisions collectively, but we strive to work with our teams of leaders and teachers to develop change for the school.

    Were the implementations successful? If not, how could they have been?

    Many of them have been successful. I think about procedural changes we made that required students to complete make up work in after school Evening Alternative School settings rather than taking up class time to take a missed quiz. This one has gone well. Some changes in how we handle attendance policy have been successful. Not everything has been a smashing success of course. To make these better, we should reassess how things went and look for input from our leadership teams and PLCs to make adjustments for the better.

    Reply
  41. Curtis Whiteley

    I believe that my school district is best summarized as a corporate/hierarchical culture. There is a strong group mentality in my district, but there is also a level of individual autonomy to meet the mission and goals of the district. In my building in particular, the vision is reiterated quite often, and there is a big emphasis on strategizing how to live up to that vision. But, there is a lot of ways that individualism is encouraged. Such things as getting teacher input for certain strategies to tackle dilemmas, allowing the teachers in each department to choose curriculum with reason, and forming teacher committees to help navigate making big decisions.

    Reply
  42. Matt Cook

    I have had the privilege of working in variations of all four of these domains. When I first started teaching, my building principal had created a school culture that was extremely high grid and extremely low group. On any given day, depending on who you talked to in our building, you would have heard things that would have varied between Authoritarian or Individualist. It was polarizing in its own right, but one thing was true, and everyone knew it–the head principal was in charge and not to be questioned. For those teachers and staff members who got along with her, there was a Individualistic climate, because you could really get whatever you wanted, but there was still very little loyalty, because you never really knew if the tide was going to turn against you. For those who did not get along with her, nearly every step and facet of their day was controlled, which led to extremely low loyalty and those folks usually did not stick around long at all either.

    The principal for whom I’ve worked for the last several years has created a climate that is almost completely opposite from the principal whom I’ve just described. It might be useful to know that there were several years of transition between these two leaders; they did not lead consecutively to one another. My current principal combines elements of Hierarchical and Egalitarian structures. Most everyone who works for her is respected as a professional and feels as though they have a voice in how and what decisions are made, particularly within their discipline and classroom. Although there is a clear hierarchy within the building, I cannot think of an example where anyone is deliberately made to feel controlled or micro-managed. For that reason, the only factors that can be truly “blamed” for teacher attrition are ones that are beyond her control such as competitive pay in other states, arenas of employment, etc.

    Reply
  43. Evelyn Kwanza

    I love that this is expanding the concepts we learned in Ethics and Culture class. I still remember where the dots for my department were clustered on the grid and group after the survey. My departments data yielded evidence of a mostly egalitarian culture that had some hierarchy. The nature of Fine Arts require their educators to collaborate. For example, the school musical is a production that requires the expertise of the drama, band, choir and art teams. Autonomy is a noted characteristic of egalitarian culture. Usually, curriculum content, goals, and programming is a result of creativity that is allowed for Fine Arts. As Matt Cook mentioned most of the staff in our department don’t feel micro-managed. However, we are keenly aware that we operate in the larger bureaucratic system. This is why the dots on our grid group were very close to the hierarchy part of the grid. All of our decisions and programing must align with that hierarchy.

    Reply
  44. Carolyn Erickson

    I think we are definitely a hierarchical culture with small pockets of egalitarianism. The hierarchical evidence is seen by the number of players who work in a cohesive, integrated system for the benefit of our students. However, there is also evidence that we have a number of people who still operate almost exclusively from a positional authority perspective. The egalitarian characteristics are seen mainly at individual sites that have concentrated on building collaborative and equitable relationships. While they actually seem to embrace the group goals and activities, there is some distrust of outsiders.

    Reply
  45. Carolyn Erickson

    I think all of the cultural types and mindsets are necessary for effective leadership because I don’t think it’s about the leader – I think it’s about the processes. Depending on the characteristics of a process (operational/humanational), each part of the group and grid is necessary. Again, there is an art to this. I absolutely believe in micromanaging the compliance/task components ahead of time so that they do not come off so much as directives as they just are. If they are implemented correctly, they should be almost invisible. A healthy culture is reflected in positive perceptions of climate and holistic systems leadership is critical for group and grid synchronization. I think we are definitely a hierarchical culture with small pockets of egalitarianism. The hierarchical evidence is seen by the number of players who work in a cohesive, integrated system for the benefit of our students. However, there is also evidence that we have a number of people who still operate almost exclusively from a positional authority perspective. The egalitarian characteristics are seen mainly at individual sites that have concentrated on building collaborative and equitable relationships. While they actually seem to embrace the group goals and activities, there is some distrust of outsiders.

    Reply
  46. Carolyn Erickson

    I think all of the cultural types and mindsets are necessary for effective leadership because I don’t think it’s about the leader – I think it’s about the processes. Depending on the characteristics of a process (operational/humanational), each part of the group and grid is necessary. Again, there is an art to this. I absolutely believe in micromanaging the compliance/task components ahead of time so that they do not come off so much as directives as they just are. If they are implemented correctly, they should be almost invisible. A healthy culture is reflected in positive perceptions of climate and holistic systems leadership is critical for group and grid synchronization. I think we are definitely a hierarchical culture with small pockets of egalitarianism. The hierarchical evidence is seen by the number of players who work in a cohesive, integrated system for the benefit of our students. However, there is also evidence that we have a number of people who still operate almost exclusively from a positional authority perspective. The egalitarian characteristics are seen mainly at individual sites that have concentrated on building collaborative and equitable relationships. While they actually seem to embrace the group goals and activities, there is some distrust of outsiders.

    Reply
  47. Lora Reavis

    I would say my school district has a Hierarchical Culture. There is a top down culture that incorporates group decisions through the use of PLCs and through teacher trainers that meet with their schools and district administration on a regular basis. There is pressure to consider group goals. This past year the implementation of project based learning was pushed through staff development and the requirement for every class to implement at least 1 project per semester. This year one low performing elementary school is being changed to a complete project based site. The implementation was accepted mostly by those that already held a belief it could be successful. As a whole I saw many teachers ignore the implementation and nothing was changed in the majority of classrooms. The district did a much better job though of including teachers in the selection of our math curriculum. Meetings were held and materials were made available for all teachers to peruse. The final choice was what most teachers wanted. The implementation of the new curriculum should be successful this year due to the teacher input and buy in.

    Reply
  48. Rexi Phillips

    I am unsure of my new site, but my previous site was certainly egalitarian. We were a very tight-knit group and approached almost everything together. Community, equality, and valuing everyone’s voices were very important to the group.
    We often sat down has a whole group to discuss large decisions. We redrafted our mission and strategic plans as an entire group of 15. Everyone had the opportunity to share their perspective and the success of the group was the primary concern. We even did interviews under this model. (However, we all agreed being interviewed by 12+ people was horrific, it was what always ended up happening). Every individual shared their voice and that was what was important. If it had been a mandate or conceived by only a few people, it was usually worried to the point that it had to come to the full group.
    This was likely not the most efficient and probably unnecessary, but for our small site, we were able to make it work. We each have strengths and areas of growth, and we all wanted to be a part of decision making because we were all so heavily invested in each other, our students, and the school.

    Reply

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