School Culture

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Pertama, kita bentuk kebiasaan-kebiasaan kita.


Setelah itu, kebiasaan-kebiasaan tersebutlah yang akan membentuk kita


(John C. Maxwell)




Firstly, we build our habits. After then, the habits that will build us


(John C. Maxwell)








Many people said that culture is art, just like art and craft, music, and another else. Actually, an art is a part of a culture. It is true. But, not extremelly true, becouse culture is more then jus an art. Culture is a whole of way of life. So, culture is more then jus a music or dance.




Tylor (1871) define a culture is a “complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”. More then that, Adam Hoebel, in his book An Anthropology: The Study of Man, stated that a culture as below:




“The integrated system of learned behavior pattern which are characteristic of the members of a society and which are not the result of biological inheritance ….culture is not noninstinctive … [culture] is wholly the result of social invention and is transmitted and maintatined solely through community communication and learning”.




So, a culture is more then an art. But, a small part, or a small portion of a culture. Our culture, or the culture of our nations in the world, developed from our habits in our life. First, we build our habits. And then, the habits will build us in our life. In what habits? In all habits! As explained by Tylor, our habits in knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities acquired by all people of the society.




Let’s say about our habits of healthy life in our society. This is a culture. Brushing teeth every day in our life is an example of culture. We can build a habit of brushing teeth in our school. This is a culture that we have to build in school life.




Then, let’s say about what is the school culture? Kent D. Peterson, in his writing entitled Is Your School’s Culture Toxic or Positive?” He stated that “school culture is the set of norms, values and beliefs, rituals and ceremonies, symbols and stories that make up the ‘persona’ of the school.” ( The professor in the Department of Education Administration of University of Wisconsin-Madison, the USA stated in Indonesian language that “budaya sekolah adalah seperangkat norma, nilai dan keyakinan, ritual and upacara, simbol dan cerita yang menjadi “kepribadian” suatu sekolah”.




To explain his definition, Peterson divided the positive school culture and the negative  school culture, and how does the teachers and administrative staffs build the school culture. Again, Peterson states that The culture of a school consists primarily of the underlying norm values and beliefs that teachers and administrators hold about teaching and learning,Here is the table of examples of positive and negative school culture:




Table: Examples of Positive and Negative School Culture




A positive school culture

A toxic school culture





·      celebrates successes


·      merayakan keberhasilan


·      blames students for lack of progress

·      menyalahkan siswa karena kurang kemajuan

·      emphasizes accomplishment and collaboration

·      menekankan pada prestasi dan kolaborasi

·      discourages collaboration


·      menghambat kolaborasi


·      fosters a commitment to staff and student learning.

·       meningkatkan komitmen untuk staf dan pembelajaran siswa.

·        breeds hostility among staff.

·      menumbuhkan benih permusuhan antar staf.




Sumber: Journal of Staff Development, Summer 2002




In the two kinds of school cultures, we have to grow the positive school cultures up, and have to eradicate the negative school cultures. We have to grow up the cooperation, working to gether in school. But we to eradicate the cheating habit in final examination. Cooperation is a positive school culture, but cheating is a negative school culture. 




Here are so many school cultures that will be breed in our school cultures, such as school cleanliness, school forest, disciplines, study hard, and so many school cultures. Remember,  UNESCO remind us about the four pillars of learning: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live together. All pillars are the positive school cultures that we have to be build in our school cultures. Last, but not least, there are so many negative school cultures that have to be eradicated in our school cultures. The cheating in final examination is the negative school culture occurred in our schools life to day. The cheating is a corruption habit. Please do eradicate the habit.



                                                            Depok, April 4, 2014

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