Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Middle and Secondary Education

First Advisor

David W. Stinson

Second Advisor

Janice B. Fournillier

Third Advisor

Nickolaus A. Ortiz

Fourth Advisor

Holly A. Wilson


Within an era of educational reform, there has been significant discussion and varying opinions about how to measure the “success” of a school. One important element to consider when investigating a school’s successes, areas for growth, or strategies for implementing reform is the culture created within the building. Although culture can be difficult to define, school culture is an often-studied topic and can be pivotal in understanding the different aspects within the building (Schein, 2010; Siehl & Martin, 1987). A school’s culture can be helpful in creating an atmosphere of support and care for teachers, staff, and students within a building, affecting teacher satisfaction and retention (Teasley, 2017). Currently, existing literature about school culture investigates the creation of culture, the benefits of positive school cultures, and the effect that school culture has on teachers and students within a building, often looking at teacher morale and experiences or student performance and achievement (Erichsen & Reynolds, 2020; Peterson & Deal, 1998; MacNeil et al., 2009; Teasley, 2017). To add to the discussion of school culture from a broad perspective, it is important to consider the culture created within specific schools to document their methods of success or ways they can improve their practices.

Therefore, in this ethnographic case study, situated within an anthropological perspective, I investigated how one school’s school culture is described by members within the building, how that school’s culture is created, and how school culture influences the experiences of mathematics teachers. Multiple perspectives were considered when describing the school culture, including points of view from leadership, staff, teachers, and former students. I also included personal narratives and memory data from my perspective, given that I have been employed at the case site for over 11 years. Together, these different perspectives were synthesized to create a holistic description of the culture created within Johnson High School, and its effects on mathematics teachers.


File Upload Confirmation