Understanding Educational Leadership: People, Power and Culture

By Hugh Busher | Go to book overview

1 Considering schools as
organizations and
communities

Making sense of schools from different perspectives
Schools as institutions have many features in common with other institutions – as well as some crucial differences. The features that are similar might be described as follows:
A structure of formal roles or ‘statuses’, arranged into a social hierarchy into which expectations regarding appropriate behaviour (‘role performance’) are built.
A collection of individual human beings whose behaviour is related to a greater or lesser extent to the roles they play in the same structure.
Between the formal structures and the individuals are what might be called informal or micro-political structures and processes characterized more by coalitions than by departments, by strategies rather than rules, by influence rather than power and by knowledge rather than status (Hoyle 1982).
A set of more or less related aims, values, beliefs, attitudes and ideas manifested through rituals, rules and language and through the perspectives and positions that individuals adopt to the institution and other individuals and which form the culture of the institution and the subcultures of its departments.
A set of interactions of varying intensity and continuity between members of the institution and the individuals and groups which, taken collectively, constitute its environment.

(Ribbins 1985)

The crucial differences relate to the participants in schools the majority of whom, in England and Wales, are under the age of adulthood and are required by central government to attend them between the ages of 5 years

-1-

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