Gain a deeper understanding of how strong cultures develop and design a concrete action plan to drive culture change in your school or district.
A strong culture helps drive successful organizations. But, what does it take to build a strong culture that strengthens how schools and districts work to improve student outcomes? The knowledge, skills and strategies needed to answer this question are essential for school leadership that can transform the culture of their learning environments. Leading Culture Change: Strategies for School Improvement is a new on-campus program offered by Professional Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for school and district teams wanting to deepen their understanding of culture, identify strategies to develop it and implement an action plan for culture change.
Leading Culture Change, led by HGSE associate professor Ebony N. Bridwell-Mitchell, is a three-day interactive program that begins with school and district teams conducting a pre-program diagnostic of culture in their own learning context. During the program, teams are involved in instructional sessions and discussion with faculty experts to analyze culture’s key aspects. In peer working groups, teams target areas and strategies for developing culture based on existing research and real-world examples of strong cultures in a variety of sectors. By the program’s end, teams develop an action plan to transform school or district culture and have the option to continue learning through a post-program impact assessment and professional community. Specific program activities include:
- School and team culture diagnostics
- Harvard faculty-led sessions
- Interactive, small-group working sessions
- Individual self-assessment and reflection
- Peer discussion, feedback and presentations
- Action planning work groups
- Gaining a deeper understanding of core aspects of organizational culture
- Identifying fundamental strategies for leading culture change
- Assessing culture to target and prioritize areas for change
- Developing a customized action plan – including specific strategies and implementation steps – for transforming school or district culture