CULTURE FOR IMPROVEMENT. STUDY AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN CHILE
The purpose of this research study was to examine the meaning held by school members regarding their projects of improvement and the ways to develop them; in order to describe the school’s culture and the way it may help or constrain the process related to the effectiveness of school improvement.
The qualitative study as conducted among five secondary schools from low and middle low social backgrounds in Santiago of Chile were studied. These were also distinguished according to their previous achievement results; either having improved or lowered achievements. In addition, interviews were carried out to parents, teachers and students.
Results provide a wide view about school culture and its implication for improvement. Schools that improve were those whose members (teachers, parents and students) felt a personal commitment and had high expectations to the school’s project performance. Among those schools, a series of achievements throughout time and shared aims by the community members was observed; even more, clear ground rules and collaborative actions among members was present; and those schools were calm and value formation were incorporated simultaneously with the academic subjects.
In all, school culture does make the difference between high and low achievements. The study described that the success of school improvements is related to the study and demand for social justice in education. Educators and researchers need to move forward looking for the meaning of a just society, supporting the civil society and the development of citizenship; and must be aware and promote rights and duties in order to conduct a consequent democratic action, both in schools and society.
Education, school culture, culture for improvement, school effectiveness and improvement.
Sepúlveda, C. (2012). La cultura para la mejora. estudio en centros de educación secundaria en Chile. International Journal of Education for Social Justice (RIEJS), 1(1), 133-152.