We have trying to clearly define our school’s core purpose that will help give direction to our improvement work over the next years. The school’s purpose is stated in the strategic plan which is a formal agreement between the community, teachers and DEECD. Teachers and parents want to publish the purpose in differing ways that will link all our efforts.
I have participated in sessions with teachers, school leaders and parents on school council who have all tried to succinctly state our core purpose. Throughout the sessions some common elements emerge around educate, challenge and excellence.
I think I had a moment recently when reading Sergiovanni’s book titled: “Strenthening the Heartbeat”
and he talked about moral purposes and the need to place improvement within a wider framework.
I thought of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and that in order to achieve excellence, to understand, to become independent one must feel a sense of belonging. That a sense of belonging was a higher order target than that of safety which was a basic more physical need – but still important in order to achieve needs above it.
I’m not sure what others who try and define school purpose think and what framework they used but I would be interested to hear.