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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 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 discussions with faculty experts to analyze culture’s key aspects. In peer working groups, teams target areas and strategies for developing a culture based on existing research and real-world examples of strong cultures in various sectors. By the program’s end, teams develop an action plan to transform school or district culture and can continue learning through a post-program impact assessment and professional community. Specific program activities include:
Leading Culture Change is a team-based program for participants who want to improve culture within their schools or districts. School- and district-based teams are strongly encouraged to include a minimum of four participants and a cross-section of stakeholders:
While the program is designed to most benefit teams, individual applicants will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
Ebony Bridwell-Mitchell’s research is on leadership, management, and organizations, exploring how organizational factors affect the success of public school reform.