School culture: deciphering some basic cultural assumptions operating in a school in Zimbabwe
Culture, defined as basic assumptions, undergirds values and governs behaviour. This study deciphered some basic assumptions operating in a school in Zimbabwe using Schein"s method of observation, interviews and "joint exploration" with insiders. The culture deciphered could be described as. follows. School members consider their main task to be to ensure that students pass the external examinations. The maintenance of the internal environment of the school is not considered to be important. Teachers feel vulnerable in their relationship with the school administration and Ministry of Education officials. They believe that decisions ought to be made by the school administration and that the standards of the founding headmaster ought to be the measure of the school's performance. Time is regarded as inexhaustible, and space is used on the basis of gender and seniority. Prefects are considered important but have lost effectiveness and status. respected. Student Teachers who act professionally are behavior has deteriorated and assertiveness by the administration is considered important in ensuring discipline. The criteria for admission of students is not uniform but teachers value admission on the basis of academic performance. Important activities include practical subjects (e.g., woodwork and building) and sports (especially soccer), but practical subjects have become gender specific. Sports facilities are not sufficient, making sports time free time for most teachers and students. Teachers feel unsupported by the administration in matters of discipline; and corporal punishment is accepted as a method · of discipline. Male teachers and students have minimal interactions with female teachers and students respectively.