Recognizing Societal Culture in School Design: The Case for a Cross-Cultural Comparative Approach
This chapter addresses the importance of culture in school design. It particularly focuses on culture at societal level and its effects in shaping the extent to which ideas, research findings, policies and practices can travel and be successfully adopted and implemented outside the society in which they originate. Organizational culture is also considered. At the end of Chapter 2, it was recognized that most of the research literature pertinent to school design emanates from English-speaking Western countries, especially the UK and US. Other societies, some with very different cultures, are inclined to adopt these ideas and research findings in an uncritical way. This chapter argues that insufficient attention has hitherto been paid to culture and to cross-cultural comparison in Educational Administration and Policy and related fields, such as school effectiveness and improvement, effective teaching and learning and restructuring. Accordingly, what is needed are robust frameworks for examining the similarities and differences between cultures so that more informed analysis and judgements can be made as to which ideas, research findings, policies and practices may be successfully transported, whether by adoption or adaptation, between societies.