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The Ethics of School Culture and the Theory of Communicative Action
The purpose of this paper is to view a set of characteristics that will serve as a basis for the cultural quality of my school district, with respect to Jurgen Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action and the power struggles that exist between teachers and principals. Culture is inherent within an organization that creates an atmosphere independent from other organizations in terms of similar language, heritage, traditions and purposes; therefore, the nature of the culture in question or reason and the rationalization of the Society must be understood before the theory can lead to the practical.
Individuals need to be able to identify themselves with the school or school district in which they work as a whole and not simply as a job. There are many teachers in the School District of Lancaster that do not feel a sense of member identity, and the growing trend of teacher turnover / burnout seems to be on the rise as well as the inclination that the “good teachers” leave the city. Does this mean I am a bad teacher simply because I choose not to go to another district? This only adds to a growing disassociation and, I am sure, a degenerative job performance for those who lack identity membership. Another dimension to the quality of the cultural setting is the degree to which administrators, teachers and other paraprofessionals work together in a collaborative effort in forming the instructional program. The rational behind this group emphasis is the empowerment experienced by the teachers, and the success of the program is not dependent on one individual, the principal. The problem with this characteristic is twofold. First of all, our curriculums (especially math) are chosen as a means of securing the best financial grant and not as a negotiation between teachers and administration or PSSA eligible content. Secondly, and as a result, math teachers are forced to spend a great deal of time...