In conducting a culture audit, data collection methods would ideally include mixed methods that combine traditional quantitative and qualitative methodology. Some suggestions for data collection include:
- Document Analysis of internal/external communications, written curriculum, policies, newsletters, websites, correspondence, brochures, etc.
- Statistical analysis of demographic and achievement data (existing) to ID gaps and need areas.
- Focus Groups and Interviews with various stakeholder groups (include students).
- Structured Observations of meetings, gatherings, artifacts, décor, social events, to check out actual behavior. Diagrams of informal leaders (teachers, students, staff members) group interactions.
- Surveys combined with other methods to triangulate perceptional data.
Data collection may be periodic or ongoing and may be incorporated into already existing assessments (e.g., school climate surveys, community meetings, etc.). Culture audits do not require extensive time or resources. They require the consideration of culture as a factor in student achievement and overall school improvement.
Educational leaders and organizations must make a paradigm shift in order to develop culturally competent and proficient policies, programs, and practices. The paradigm shift involves recognition of the role of culture in human existence and its influence on organizational and individual values, attitudes, and behaviors. “Culture audits” help make cultural factors in schools more tangible so that appropriate and effective school improvements can be more appropriately targeted.
Click Here to access The School-wide Cultural Competence Observation Checklist (Bustamante and Nelson, 2007; all rights reserved)