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Shaping School Culture: Pitfalls, Paradoxes, and Promises, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-04758-3
304 pages
December 2010, Jossey-Bass
Shaping School Culture: Pitfalls, Paradoxes, and Promises, 2nd Edition (1118047583) cover image


A Guide for Shaping Your School's Culture

In this thoroughly revised and updated edition of their classic book, Shaping School Culture, Terrence Deal and Kent Peterson address the latest thinking on organizational culture and change and offer new ideas and strategies on how stories, rituals, traditions, and other cultural practices can be used to create positive, caring, and purposeful schools. This new edition gives expanded attention to the important symbolic roles of school leaders, including practical suggestions on how leaders can balance cultural goals and values against accountability demands, and features new and powerful case examples throughout. Most important, the authors show how school leaders can transform negative and toxic cultures so that trust, commitment, and sense of unity can prevail.

Praise for Shaping School Culture

"For those seeking enduring change that is measured in generations rather than months, and to create a legacy rather than a headline, then Shaping School Culture is your guide."
—Dr. Douglas B. Reeves, founder, The Leadership and Learning Center, Englewood, CO

"Deal and Peterson combine exquisite language, vibrant stories, and sage advice to support school leaders in embracing the paradoxical nature of their work. A 'must read' for all school leaders."
—Pam Robbins, educational consultant and author

"Once again, the authors have presented practitioners, researchers, professional developers, school coaches, and others with a tremendous resource for renovating and reinvigorating schools."
—Karen M. Dyer, Ed.D., group director, Education and Nonprofit Sector Office, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, NC

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Table of Contents



The Authors.


The Elements of Culture.

1. Schools as Tribes: The Power to Transform.

2. Artifacts, Architecture, and Routines: Symbols of Culture.

3. History: The Value of Lore and Tradition.

4. Myth, Vision, and Values: Discovering a Schools Highest Calling.

5. Stories and Tales: Passing Along the Vision.

6. Rituals: Embedding Purpose and Meaning.

7. Ceremonies and Traditions: Culture in Action.

8. Conveyors of Culture: Positive and Negative Transmitters.

The Symbolic Role of School Leaders.

9. Weaving the Cultural Tapestry: Seven Schools.

10. Transforming Toxic Cultures: Renewal Strategies.

11. Building Trust: Connecting to Parents and Communities.

12. Strengthening Culture: Eight Essential Roles.

13. Living with Paradox: The Bifocal Principal.

14. Achieving Balance: Meeting Cultural and Structural Demands.

15. Conclusion: Opportunities for the Future.



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Author Information

Terrence E. Deal has been a professor at Stanford, Harvard, and Vanderbilt Universities and is the former Irving R. Melbo Professor of Education at the Rossier School of the University of Southern California. He is coauthor of the best-sellers, Leading with Soul and Reframing Organizations.

Kent D. Peterson is a professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Deal and Peterson are coauthors of The Leadership Paradox.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • New edition of top-seller in school leadership (sold over 41,000 units in first edition).  
  • One of the few books to focus exclusively on culture and its importance to school functioning and educational performance.
  • Abundant in new leadership strategies, ideas, and case examples based on authors’ research and extensive network of school contacts.
  • Focuses intensively on turnaround of ‘toxic’ school cultures.
  • Stories and strategies linked to ‘hottest’ issues in education (No Child Left Behind, standards-based testing, accountability, diversity, inclusion, children in poverty).
  • Second edition of The Shaping School Culture Fieldbook by Kent Peterson and Terrence Deal (to be released July 2009) serves as practical ‘how to’ companion guide (9780787996802)
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