Promoting a strong, clear school culture
Promoting a strong, clear school culture

Standard 3: Cultural Leadership

Summary: School executives will understand and act on the understanding of the important role a school's culture contributes to the exemplary performance of the school. School executives must support and value the traditions, artifacts, symbols and positive values and norms of the school and community that result in a sense of identity and pride upon which to build a positive future. A school executive must be able to "reculture" the school if needed to align with school's goals of improving student and adult learning and to infuse the work of the adults and students with passion, meaning and purpose. Cultural leadership implies understanding the school as the people in it each day, how they came to their current state, and how to connect with their traditions in order to move them forward to support the school's efforts to achieve individual and collective goals.

Examples of Standard 3 from The Chronicles of Narnia:

In "The Chronicles of Narnia" the world of Narnia had their culture taken away by the Telmarines. Their traditions, artifacts, symbols, values and norms had all been taken away from them. They had almost been driven into extinction. Their whole way of life had been wiped away. In stepped new leadership and out when their culture. The new leadership had no respect for their traditions, values or norms. They came in and decided that things would now all be their way. They brought in their own people and did not try to integrate into Narnian life, but instead left the Narnians out of participation in this new culture that they created. The Telmarines did not seek to understand the Narnian culture into which they entered, they did not include or collaborate with the Narnians in any of the decision-making. They were not interested in shared "values or beliefs" or a "shared vision." Their goal was not to "establish a sense of shared community" but rather to step in and create something totally new without regard for the prior culture. Instead of promoting a "sense of well-being, a sense of efficacy and empowerment" among the Narnian people, they instead promoted a sense of fear and lack of respect or regard for the culture of the Narnians.

The Pevensie children and Prince Caspian stepped in as Cultural Leaders. Even though the Pevensie children had not only come from an altogether different culture, they had come from a totally different world. Despite this, they came to Narnia with open minds and embraced and respected the culture and it's people/inhabitants. They worked together as a team and with the Narnians to try to gain back their culture, their traditions, values and norms. They collaborated to make plans to reach this goal. They knew that they may not be able to get back the old Narnia in its entirety and that Narnia may have to "re-purpose" itself, but they could help them to regain their traditions, values and norms. Once Prince Caspian understood that the Narnians were not extinct, he wanted to help them also. He sought their help to regain his kingdom back and promised to bring the Telmarines and Narnians together to live with one another in peace. He helped them to see and share this vision which gave them all a common goal. The Pevensie children and Prince Caspian empowered the Narnians with a "can do attitude" that despite the challenge that Miraz and the Telmarines presented, the Narnians with the support of the Pevensies and Prince Caspian could regain their world. They came together to regain their culture and to rebuild with all of the things that had made it theirs to begin with, traditions - values - norms, and to re-purpose it to co-exist peacefully with the Telmarines.

Standard 4