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Abstract

This article presents a selection of findings arising from a recent study that analysed and investigated how sustainable Christian school cultures can be cultivated during changing times. The inquiry was positioned within the contextually bounded system of Christian schools which, according to the literature, have historically struggled to maintain core ideology and distinctiveness beyond the consolidation or mid-life phase of cultural development. The study was framed within a qualitative paradigm of inquiry that utilised a multiple case study design to investigate how principals within six Christian schools were seeking to cultivate sustainable school cultures that preserved core ideology whilst responding to change imperatives within an ever-increasingly complex and market driven socio-cultural milieu. The research findings identified four guiding principles that leaders were using to cultivate sustainable Christian school cultures within these site specific settings. These principles formed a foundation upon which cultural meaning-making and core ideology, expressed as cultural processes and practices, may be sustained and perpetuated during a Christian school’s organisational mid-life or consolidation phase of cultural development.

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