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School Culture and Resistance to Change


The purpose of this 3 part activity is to guide participants to create evidence-based and practical solutions to school culture and the resistance to change.


This is a 3 part, day-long activity where participants reflect on what they know, explore the literature on school culture and resistance to change, and identify and classify practical solutions (conditions, processes and people) for use in their own work.  The attached handout details the preparation and materials needed to run this day, the procedures, and the books to be distributed to participants.  

Context For Use

This day is designed for use  during Lead Data Team seminars. This activity can be adapted and used by a Professional Learning Community (PLC) or Data Team.


  • Knowledge mobilization: Participants use their reading to  transfer theory into practice. It also prompts consideration of the need to change schools’ cultures and the key role of the principal in this process.
  • Knowledge acquisition:The activity promotes collaborative learning.
  • Knowledge activation: The readings promote deeper understanding through reflection and dialogue.
  • Knowledge management: The activity also stimulates personal reflection on local circumstances: What is my role?



  • Organisers should find time for a day-long activity to ensure participants leave with solutions and actions to take back to their establishments.
  • Members of the group should already be comfortable working and sharing together.

Find Out More

Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division, Muhammad, A., 2009.

Building School Culture One Week at a Time, Zoul, J., 2010.

Creating School Cultures That Embrace Learning: What Successful Leaders Do, Thacker, T., Bell, J. S. & Schargel, F. P., 2009.

Creating Productive Cultures in Schools: For Students, Teachers, and Parents, Murphy, J. F. &  Torre, D., 2014.