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  1. Anthony Muhammad - Transforming School culture - Midwest Principals' Center
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  3. Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division
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That said, categorization can be useful as first-order analysis, and he based these categories on what seems to have been a solid ethnographic study of 34 diverse schools across the country. Overall, I'm glad I read this book. I feel as though I have a better idea of the motivations of various coalitions of educators, and a better understanding of why some administrative initiatives have worked out and some have not.

I would have liked to see more specific activities or discussion prompts for challenging "Fundamentalists" at the teacher-to-teacher level, but I suppose Muhammad's intended audience is more likely to be found in the administrative office than in the classroom. Jul 17, Cecily rated it really liked it. Had to read this for work, but the timing was excellent. I'm coming into a school leadership role right now much to my terror and this book provides a great framework to name and categorize what might otherwise flummox a school leader, e. I appreciate how Muhammad minces no words and calls it like it is where the most difficult types are concerned.

His advice for dealing with all times is sound and good to keep in mind. Oct 09, Andy Schoenborn rated it liked it. The book was given to my colleagues and I from our principal. It is a great book for administrators, but tends to cause division among peers as a school wide book study - especially if you are a fundamentalist. Jun 16, Jeff Bush rated it really liked it.

Everything he says is spot on. His understanding of school culture is profound. It's a little short on scholarship as far as current literature, but Muhammad almost makes up for this with his own research. On the must-read list for any educator. Aug 28, Anthony rated it really liked it.

Anthony Muhammad - Transforming School culture - Midwest Principals' Center

Give yourself the language to explain what goes on in a school and the pathway to a healthier learning environment for students. The author provided a solid framework for transforming school culture. The study that he undertook identified types of teachers that exist within faculties based on their educational goal rather than behavior. The belief teachers have in whether their students can learn or not is key to student success in life.

Several strategies are provided to work through and provide the support needed to assist teachers in making change for the benefit for students. Packed full of useful and usable information to help school leaders transform their schools. Be warned, however, this isn't a magic wand and it will require work.

The first people who will need to change are school and district leaders. An excellent read for anyone interested in the psychological and sociological aspects of the school and in transforming their schools to become better, more productive, more student-oriented places. Apr 09, Allison rated it really liked it. Highly accessible and recommended for education leaders, this is an overview and typology of teacher motivations and objectives.

Muhammad provides insight into what messaging is needed to communicate with various groups, and in particular, how to introduce new teachers into the profession.

Transforming School Culture

Jun 09, Meghan rated it really liked it Shelves: required-reading , nothing-but-the-truth. This was our Instructional Council read and I found it interesting and certainly pertinent to what was happening in our school. Not life changing or quite as full of practical suggestions the way Crucial Accountability was, but a solid read for anyone looking to shift culture in your school.

Read for an Educational Leadership course, and has some really interesting concepts. Also, however, doesn't give you all the answers Oct 09, Craig Kind rated it really liked it. Quite a valuable schema for understanding staff in times of change.

Oct 08, Nathan rated it really liked it Shelves: education. A framework for staff: what types of people there are, and what they need to make change. The first group I identified is the Believers. Believers are educators who believe in the core values that make up a healthy school culture.

They believe that all of their students are capable of learning and that they have a direct impact on student success.


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They are actively engaged in a constant battle of ideas with another group, the Fundamentalists. The second group I call the Tweeners. Tweeners are educ A framework for staff: what types of people there are, and what they need to make change. Tweeners are educators who are new to the school culture. They end up in the middle of the war of ideas between the Believers and Fundamentalists. The third group I identify are the Survivors. Fortunately, this group is not widespread in our schools. This group is much smaller in number than the other groups, and there is a general consensus from all groups that education is not the best profession for them.

I call the fourth group the Fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are staff members who are not only opposed to change, but organize to resist and thwart any change initiative. They can wield tremendous political power and are a major obstacle in implementing meaningful school reform. They actively work against the Believers. Studies have indicated that things like salary and opportunities to advance are very low motivators, but recognition of achievement and celebration of goal-attainment are much more powerful methods for increased productivity 1.

Who are our students? What strengths do they bring to the school? What needs do they bring to the school?

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How can we collectively enhance their lives? By the time students enter high school, they have already been labeled cognitively disadvantaged, cognitively average, or cognitively advanced. Collegiality 2. Experimentation 3. High expectations 4. Trust and confidence 5. Tangible support 6. Reaching out to the knowledge bases 7.

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Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division

Appreciation and recognition 8. Caring, celebration, and humor 9. Involvement in decision making Protection of what is important Honoring traditions Honest, open communication An overwhelming body of evidence proves that highly effective schools have school leaders who are strong instructional leaders Maccoby, These leaders are involved in critical decisions about what students learn and how students are assessed, and they help develop support systems that ensure high levels of learning for all students.

Tweeners need to know that those in leadership positions support them and are not only willing to listen to their struggles, but also will be a partner in resolving those struggles. Second, administrators must establish and institutionalize proper and ongoing mentorship. The Tweener needs to be connected with a stellar example of professionalism and have access to that mentor on a regular basis. Third, school leadership must methodically work to connect the new educator to the school community. This can be done effectively through making an immediate and positive connection with the Tweener—by taking advantage of the gifts and talents he or she brings to the school.

This personal connection will increase the likelihood that the new educator will have a vested interest in the school and that negative experiences will be counteracted with a series of positive experiences to help them weather the storm of the moment of truth. Mar 30, David Koogler rated it it was amazing. A great guide for initiating change in schools.

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Mar 02, Laurie rated it really liked it Shelves: borrowed , work-related. But of course you are dealing with many different personalities of staff when it comes to shifting the paradigm. They are: -The Believers -Tweeners -Survivalists -Fundamentalists Most schools, including the one I work at, comes down to a fight between Believers and Fundamentalists. Muhammad makes a case for what motivates these people and why they react the way they do in situations, coming down mostly in their fear of change, and why they hold onto this fear.

He does a very good job in shifting emphasis on understanding and inclusion to bring around these mindsets, which deflates the battle somewhat. Though the toxic culture at my school make me hesitant to believe some of it would be so simple, they are great things to keep in mind. My favorite parts where the last chapter and the epilogue.

The last chapter didn't break things down as much into groups, and focused on more general ideas for infusing positivity in the culture of your school. I loved the part of the mobile awards. One for leadership, curriculum, child advocacy, and creativity, given first by admin and later the recipients having to pass the award on to another themselves. I really think that would bring a positive lens for the staff towards each other.