Faculty culture plays a major role in student achievement. Students in schools with a healthy faculty culture perform better than their peers in schools with an unhealthy faculty culture. Yet, most school improvement efforts do not focus on developing and maintaining a healthy faculty culture. School leaders are often reluctant to systematically assess faculty culture out of fear that the findings may be threatening. Yet, to the contrary, the perspectives of faculty are among the most valuable to a school leader interested in developing strong leadership skills. To create a learning environment in which students excel academically, socially and intellectually schools must be vigilant about assessing and improving faculty culture.
One way to assess faculty culture is to use the Faculty Culture Profile developed by Independent School Management, which is included below. The Profile is designed to assess the ideas and assumptions driving the faculty’s collective set of professional attitudes and behaviors. Teachers complete it anonymously using a scale of one to five. The results indicate the areas in which faculty culture is healthy and those that need to be improved. Typically, a school consultant facilitates the process and uses the information to in the context of school improvement or faculty and staff development plan.
Based on the results, schools can identify areas that must be addressed to improve faculty culture. Regardless of the instrument a school may choose to use, faculty culture assessment and improvement should be an ongoing part of school evaluation and goal-setting. Ensuring the health of the faculty is paramount to creating and maintaining an excellent school.