This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Please check back later for the full article.
Over the past several decades, scholars have focused special attention on the relationship between schooling and culture. The first forays focused on curriculum matters, trying to understand how educational policies impacted the selection of content and its dissemination in schools. More recently, the concept of school culture has emerged as a frame for researchers, thanks to its ability to interrogate how teachers and pupils experience school in terms of time and space. Placing these individuals in the center of the schooling process, the concept of school culture enables scholars to build a more comprehensive analysis of what happens inside classrooms and schoolyards. This tool offers an opportunity for researchers and teachers to debate the merits of tradition and innovation in education, to pay attention to material culture as a part of school practices, and to consider school community as a social actor.