Dr. Near East University, Faculty of Education
Problem Statement: This paper reports on organisational cultures between North and South Schools in Cyprus. School culture is very crucial element for effectiveness of the schools and can be defined as shared values and beliefs; norms and rules, rituals and ceremonies, languages and cliches, stories and legends, rewarding systems, heros. School principal takes important role to shape, enhance and maintaine effectiveness with all stakeholders. Cyprus, is a multicultural island with two major communities in North and South and each school has their own educational system which is administered under the guidance of each Ministry of Education.
Purpose: This article aims to compare North and South schools in Cyprus regarding to organizational cultures applying various influencing factors in order to contribute for the development in each school and all schools in Cyprus. Datas were collected refering to following problem: “Is there any similarities and/or differences on school cultures regarding to metaphors, values and beliefs; norms and rules, rituals and ceremonies, languages and cliches, stories and legends, rewarding systems, heros and principals’ leadership between North and South Schools?”
Method: Qualitative interview techniques was used in this research and data were collected of semi-interviews method and observation to obtain deep information of the behaviour, attitudes, beliefs and experiences of participants. In semi-interviews method, data questions can be prepared in advance and data are collected based on these questions. This technique is not as strict as close-ended questions and not as flexible as open-ended questions and provides more realistic environment in the collection of data process; this is the main reason why semi-interview technique is used in the study (Karasar, 1998).
In this research, purposeful sampling method was used. In this respect, working group was created based on case study method (Tavşancıl & Aslan, 2001; Yıldırım, A. & Şimşek, H. 2005). Totally 36 participants took part in this research and those participants consisted of the principals, vice principals and teachers which are active in North and South schools in Cyprus. Participants of this study comprised of 2 (1 North, 1 South) principals, 5 (3 North and 2 South) vice principals and 29 (20 North and 9South) teachers in North and South private primary schools between the period September 2010 and June 2011.
Findings and Results: The paper explored the benefits of school culture engaging principals, vice principals and teachers of North and South schools in Cyprus. Firstly principals, vice principals and teachers in North and South schools awared of school culture was very important element for effectiveness to contribute create positive school culture in their own schools. Secondly, it is found perceptions of participants of each elements of organisational culture such as metaphors, values and beliefs; norms and rules, rituals and ceremonies, languages and cliches, stories and legends, rewarding systems, heros and principals’ leadership. Thirdly, it is found that there were similarities and differences between North and South schools regarding to school cultures.
Conclusions and Recomendations: This qualitative study revealed that there was more similarities than differences regarding to school cultures in North and South schools in Cyprus. Similarities which were found in this research that both schools were offering quality educaton with similar rules and norms, rituels and ceremonies, awarding systems and leadership approches. Findings showed that there were differences such as teachers in North school had no job security as opposed to teachers in South school. Teaching language of the North school was Turkish language with additional English language lessons but teaching language of the South school was English with additional Greek language lessons. This paper advocates the development of similar initiatives in other primary, secondary and high schools’ principals, vice principals and teachers as a means to promote engagement between effectiveness and school culture.
Keywords: Culture, organisational culture, positive school culture.