chapter  9
43 Pages

The School Culture

Where Good Teaching Makes Sense
ByJeannie Oakes, Martin Lipton, Lauren Anderson, Jamy Stillman

This chapter focuses on school culture—one of the most important conditions for teaching to change the world and discusses the powerful influence that a school's culture has on the quality of teaching and learning. It elaborates four key features of "good" school cultures—that is, school cultures that foster high academic quality and social justice. These features include academic press, rich learning opportunities and resources, caring relationships and practices, and conditions that support teachers' inquiry and activism. Good schools have cultures where it makes sense for faculty to teach all students well and for all students to learn well. Some school cultures, even in the most disadvantaged communities, have an incredibly strong press for learning that translates into powerful actions that enable learning to occur. Making college-going accessible requires that students see their cultural identities as integral to college preparation, matriculation, and success.