Master Class – Building and Rebuilding Strong School Cultures

Building and Rebuilding Strong School Cultures: The Role of Positive School Leadership

Karen Seashore Louis

This “Master Class” will ask participants to engage with the question of how Positive School Leadership (POS) (Murphy & Louis, 2018) can contribute to building school organizational cultures that support learning of all members. While this is a perennial issue, challenges to schools, families and educational systems during the global pandemic mean that every school must consider new approaches to engaging or reengaging all students and adults. The session will build on both early (Kruse & Louis, 2008) and more recent (Louis & Lee, 2016; Lee & Louis, 2018) understanding of school culture and its impacts, relying on active engagement with short case materials and small group discussion.  It will also be situated in ICSEI’s assumption that articulated and implicit value systems and preferred relationships in work settings are highly variable between countries (Hofstede, 2001).  The session will therefore engage participants in adapting “useable theory” to “powerful practice” in different cultural settings.

Karen Seashore Louis is Regents Professor Emerita at the University of Minnesota.  Her work focuses on school improvement and reform, school effectiveness, leadership in school settings, and the politics of knowledge use in education.  Her most recent books include Positive school leadership (2018) and Caring school leadership (2019). She has received numerous awards, including the Lifetime Contributions to Staff Development award from the National Staff Development Association (2007), the Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award from the University Council for Educational Administration (2009), the Excellence in Research Award (2019), from Division A, American Educational Research Association, and a Life Member designation from the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement.