Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

School Culture: Comparative Analysis of Organizational Culture in Two Primary Schools in St. Lucia

By Chryselda Caesar


This study explores school culture in two rural primary schools in St. Lucia Blossom and Peabright. The evidence suggests that the cultures of the two schools were distinctly different.\ud Case study research used an interpretative paradigm to draw on data from interviews, observations and documents. The data was analysed to examine the schools' vision mission and goals, teachers' and principals' beliefs and expectations, and to assess the structure and practices, processes and strategies to understand how the two schools worked.\ud This research revealed that the values captured in the vision and mission statements, the consensus on definite goals, and the shared beliefs and expectations at Peabright appear to function as the depository of what was held sacred 'high student achievement and performance' at the school. This guiding philosophy was the explicit covenant that seems to guide the collective practices, processes and strategies at Peabright.\ud Blossom was guided by unwritten rules and shared beliefs and expectations but no explicit vision and mission statements, or goals. The shared beliefs and expectation of sport though not articulated as a guiding philosophy, provided a common identity and played an important role in the success that Blossom enjoyed through sports.\ud Blossom was led by a principal who employed a mix of different styles in an environment plagued with an array of individualistic beliefs and varied practices except on students' innate athletic ability for sport, moral development of students, discipline and physical environment. The absence of community and parental support except for sporting events, the dissident teacher sub-cultures, perceived differences in political beliefs and affiliations between the principal and community were some of the contributory features of the school culture.\ud Peabright was led clearly, by a forceful and focused leader who engaged a repertoire of leadership styles to keep the focus on a common purpose that underpinned the behavioural norms, which shaped the emergent school culture. Some of the features of that culture were high expectations, setting high standards, rigid social structure, emotional support system, dedicated and committed teachers and protection of the school environment.\ud This study reflects on leadership styles and practices, teacher productivity and internal school culture. In addition, it draws attention to the way schools work within small rural communities in a developing world context

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1997). (2' edition) Organizational Culture and Leadership,
  2. (1995). (3`d edition) The Principalship :a reflective practice perspective,
  3. (2004). (3"' edition) Organizational Culture and Leadership,
  4. (1989). (5`1' edition) Educational Research an introduction,
  5. (2003). Academic and Social Perceptions as Predictors of Change in Middle School Students'
  6. (1999). Academics and a Culture of Caring: the relationship between school improvement and prosocial and antisocial behaviours in four urban middle schools,
  7. (2001). Addressing the Discontinuity of Students' and Teachers' Diversity: a preliminary study of preservice teachers' beliefs and perceived skills,
  8. (2002). An Audit of the Culture Starts with Two Handy Tools,
  9. (1995). An eclectic approach to estimating the determinants of achievement in Jamaica primary schools, The World Bank Economic Review,
  10. (1998). An Introduction to Qualitative Research,
  11. (1985). Applied Qualitative Research,
  12. (1997). Assessing designs for school effectiveness research and school improvement in developing countries,
  13. (2002). Authenticity - Reliability Validity and Triangulation,
  14. (2003). Building the Leadership Capacity for School Improvement: A Case Study,
  15. (2001). Business Leadership and Culture: National Management Styles in the Global Economy, Cheltenham-UK: Edward Elgar publishing Limited.
  16. (1998). Case Studies,
  17. (1999). Case Study in Educational Settings,
  18. (1999). Changing Leadership for Changing Times,
  19. (1995). Changing Teachers, Changing Times: teachers' %l'ork and culture in the postmodern age,
  20. (2005). Climate or Culture? A Plea for Conceptual Clarity
  21. (2002). Community as Curriculum,
  22. (1998). Competing Paradigms in Qualitative Research,
  23. (1983). Concepts of Culture and Organizational Analysis,
  24. (2003). Conceptualizing education reform,
  25. (2000). Conducting Research in Human Geography. Theory Methodology and Practice,
  26. (1998). Constructivist, Interpretivist Approaches to Human Inquiry,
  27. (1982). Corporate Cultures: the rites and rituals of corporate life,
  28. (1989). Creating an Excellent School,
  29. (1990). Creating an Excellent School: Some New Management Techniques,
  30. (1997). Creating Culture Change: Strategies for Success,
  31. (1998). Criteria for Assessing Interpretation Validity in Qualitative Research,
  32. (1987). Cultural Change: An Integration of Three Different Views,
  33. (1996). Cultural Dynamics and Organizational Analysis: Leadership Administration and the Management of Meaning in Schools,
  34. (2000). Cultural Factors in Educational Effectiveness: a framework for comparative research,
  35. (1983). Culture and school performance,
  36. (1998). Data Management and Analysis Methods,
  37. (2002). Distributed Leadership,
  38. (1998). Doing Research: A Mode of Interrogation fror Education,
  39. (2001). Education Development Pr(ect, St Lucia: Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
  40. (2000). Education for All 2000-20,15,
  41. (2000). Education Research: Contemporary Issues and Practical Approaches,
  42. (2001). Educational Administration: Theory, Research and Practice,
  43. (1999). Educational Evaluation and Examinations Unit Report on Candidates' Performance in Local Examinations,
  44. (1999). Effective Schools and Teachers, paper published by World Bank.
  45. (1983). Efficient Cultures: Exploring the Relationship between Culture and Organizational Performance,
  46. (2001). Embedding Leadership in Task Performance,
  47. (1964). Environmental Variations in Studies or Organizational Behaviour,
  48. (2004). Estimates 2003/2004,
  49. (2004). Ethics of Research in Education,
  50. (1989). Ethnography: Principles in Practice,
  51. (1995). Fidelity as a Criterion for Practicing and Evaluation Narrative Enquiry,
  52. (2003). Foul is Fair and Fair is Foul: Conducting a Systematic Review of an Aspect of Educational Leadership and Management,
  53. (2003). Governance Autonomy and accountability in education,
  54. (1999). Helping Practitioners Explore Their School Culture,
  55. (2006). How Very . Effective Primary Schools Work,
  56. (1986). Images of Organizations, London;
  57. (2004). Improving Schools in Challenging and Difficult Contexts: strategies for improvement,
  58. (2000). In Pursuit of School Ethos,
  59. (1982). In Search of xcellence,
  60. (1984). In the Field: an Introduction to Field Research,
  61. (2002). Inspiring Leadership: Staying 'Ifloat in Turbulent Times,
  62. (2003). Instructional Leaders and School Improvement,
  63. (1998). Introduction to Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches,
  64. (2000). Introduction to Special Feature: alternative perspectives on school improvement,
  65. (1990). Introductions to Research Methods in Education,
  66. (2002). Issues in the Investigation of School Leadership Across Cultures,
  67. (1995). Key Characteristics of Effective Schools: A Review of School effectiveness and Research, London: Office for Standards in Education.
  68. (1986). Leaders and Schools: willfulness and Non-raational Order in Organizations,
  69. (1996). Leaders in Context: Post Positivist Approaches to Understanding Educational Leadership,
  70. (2005). Leadership for Mortals: Developing and Sustaining Leaders of Learning,
  71. (1996). Leadership in Organization,
  72. (1999). Leadership Theory and Practice,
  73. (2001). Leadership: What's In It For Schools,
  74. (1998). LPSII- Understanding the Concepts,
  75. (1998). Major Paradigms and Perspectives,
  76. (1981). Management and the culture of the Schools,
  77. (1993). Managing fr Schools Effective, Milton Keynes:
  78. (1993). Managing the Culture: the key to effective change,
  79. (1994). Managing the Curriculum,
  80. (1981). Matching corporate culture and business strategy,
  81. (1998). Methods of Collecting and Analyzing Empirical Material,
  82. (2001). Monitoring School Effectiveness in Developing Countries,
  83. (2002). Moral Purpose Writ Large: the pressing goal is to infuse spiritual force into all educators, The School Administrator Web Edition (ON-LINE -http: //www. michaelftillan. ca
  84. (2002). Moving School Leadership Beyond Narrow Boundaries: developing a cross-cultural approach,
  85. (2004). Observation as a Research Tool,
  86. (1998). Observational Techniques,
  87. (1979). On Studying Organizational Culture, Administrative Science Quarterly,
  88. (1978). Organizalional Learning,
  89. (2000). Perspectives on Educational Change',
  90. (1984). Planning Small Scale Research: A practical guide for teachers and students,
  91. (1999). Primary Teaching as a culture of Care,
  92. (2003). Principals' Perspective of Leadership in the Process of Transforming Schools: the case of introducing a new `preventing violence and creating a safe climate intervention process' in Israeli secondary schools, Leicester:
  93. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis,
  94. (1994). Raising School Effects while Ignoring Culture? Local conditions and the influence of classroom tools, rules and pedagogy,
  95. (1993). Real Worlel Research,
  96. (1989). Refining the Cultural Perspective,
  97. (1997). Refraining Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership,
  98. (2001). Regarding Principals: Leadership effects and Effectiveness and Improvement of Schools,
  99. (1996). Reliability and Validity
  100. (2000). Researching Educational Management and Leadership in Primary Schools: The Role of the Primary Head - Chief Executive or Leading Professional paper presented at the British Educational and Administration Society Sixth Research Conference: Cambridge,
  101. (2001). Researching Your Professional Practice,
  102. (2003). School Culture and Improvement,
  103. (1996). School Culture and Performance: Testing the Invariance of an Organization Model,
  104. (1998). School Culture School Effectiveness and School Improvement,
  105. (1998). School Culture,
  106. (1999). School Culture: Black Hole or Fertile Garden for School Improvement,
  107. (1999). School Effectiveness in Developed and Developing Countries: a review of the research evidence, The University of Twente:
  108. (2001). School Improvement,
  109. (2002). School Management and Effectiveness in Developing Countries: the post-bureaucratic school,
  110. (1999). Schools Making a Difference: Let's be Realistic!,
  111. (2003). Sense of Belonging to Schools: Can Schools Make a Difference?
  112. (1998). Shaping School Culture: The Heart of Leadership,
  113. (1989). Stq f Relations in the Primary School: a study of organizational culture,
  114. (2003). Strategic Leadership Challenges,
  115. (2002). Strategic Management for School Improvement: Planning your school strategies,
  116. (1993). Studying Effective School Districts: the problem with universals and uniformity,
  117. (1984). Studying Organizational Culture Through Rites and Ceremonies,
  118. (1993). Subject Concepts of Teachers and School Culture,
  119. (2000). Successful School Improvement in the United Kingdom and Canada,
  120. (2005). Sustainable Leaadership,
  121. (1989). Teachers Workplace: The Social Organization cif Schools,
  122. (2001). Teachers' beliefs about low-achieving students and higher-order thinking,
  123. (1992). Teachers' Beliefs and Educational Research: cleaning up a messy construct,
  124. (2000). The Art of Middle Management
  125. (2003). The Changing Context of Leadership: research, theory and practice,
  126. (1996). The Cultural Politics of Schools: Implications for Leadership,
  127. (1998). The Dance of Qualitative Research Design: Metaphors, Methodology and Meaning,
  128. (2005). The Educative Importance of Ethos,
  129. (1999). The Evolution of School Culture,
  130. (1998). The Fifth Moment,
  131. (1996). The Future of Education in the Caribbean: CARICOM Regional Education Policy,
  132. (1973). The Interpretation of Culture,
  133. (1988). The Methodological Problems of Studying a Politically Resistant Community,
  134. (1996). The Modern Red School House,
  135. (2003). The Moral Imperative of School Leadership,
  136. (2001). The New Meaning of Educational Change,
  137. (1988). The Organizational Structure of Schools,
  138. (1990). The persistence of privacy: Autonomy and initiative in teachers' professional relations,
  139. (1978). The Research Act: a theoretical introduction to social methods (2ic'
  140. (1987). The Role of Beliefs in a Practice of Teaching,
  141. (1988). The Self-Managing School,
  142. (2002). The Shaping of'School Culture Heldbock,
  143. (1988). The Symbolism of Effective Schools,
  144. (2002). The Virtues and Vices of an Educational Researcher,
  145. (1974). Theory in Practice,
  146. (1998). Three Approaches to Participative Inquiry',
  147. (2004). Transformational School Leadership Effects: A Replication,
  148. (1993). Understanding Organizations,
  149. (1990). Understanding Schools as Organizations,
  150. (2002). Understanding, Designing and Conducting Qualitative Research in Education: framing the project,
  151. (1994). Vision as a Core component in school culture,
  152. (1999). Visual Sociology and School Culture,
  153. (2002). What Do We Mean by Educational Research,
  154. (1995). What is the system in systematic reform?
  155. (1987). What school factors raise achievement in the third world,
  156. (2003). Workload and the Professional Culture of Teachers,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.