Author(s)

Cynthia Pritchett

Date Approved

4-12-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Johnson, Ane

Subject(s)

School environment

Disciplines

Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Abstract

This multi-national study used systematic review as a data collection technique to determine the current field of empirical studies that posit a definition of school culture and its characteristics. The data gathered from a qualitative synthesis and analysis of the acquired studies informed school culture taxonomy. The taxonomy presented domains, classes, categories, characteristics, and elements, which became the variables for meta-analysis. This adapted methodological process resulted in a valid and generalizable definition of school culture. The adapted sequential mixed methods exploratory approach used in this study resulted in the generation of grounded theory. The grounded theory is a definition of school culture that depicts its descriptions, domains, classes, categories, characteristics, and elements. School culture is the distinct individual social preferences, perceptions, experiences, and expectations of each school community member (i.e. administrators, teachers, parents, support staff, and students) that forms the collective internal school environment. This resolution is essential to educational leadership, policymakers, and the research community.

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