The amalgamation of secondary schools : a case study of amalgamation culture shock in a rural New Zealand Catholic community : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Administration at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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This case study examines the process which led to the formation of Chanel College by the amalgamation of St Bride's and St Joseph's colleges in 1978. From 1970 - 1999 a radical restructuring of Catholic secondary education in New Zealand resulted in the closure of twelve single sex secondary schools for girls and the amalgamation of twenty-six secondary schools. Chanel College was the first New Zealand Catholic secondary school to bypass the co-institutional transitional phase of amalgamation and to be a co-educational college from its beginning. As time passes there is the possibility that important understandings that were part of the history of the merger might be lost and stakeholders in each of the merging organisations might feel that their own roots and mission have not been given enough recognition and respect in the new organisation. The community which provides the focus of this case study had experienced a long period of stability followed by years of rapid cultural, educational, and leadership change. The tortuous progress of amalgamation for the Catholic community in the Wairarapa provides an ideal opportunity to examine the importance of leadership and process in the management of significant educational change. The importance of managing the culture shock of amalgamations is often underestimated or overlooked. This form of culture shock involves the confusion, disorientation and severe emotional stress associated with moving from a familiar culture to one most unlike the old environment. If this management issue is not addressed effectively there can be a significant area of 'unfinished business' which leaves a bitter legacy for a new school struggling to create an accepted culture of its own. The stakeholders also find themselves involved in a situation which is often not of their choosing where they face the often unwelcome task and ongoing process of creating a new culture where the unconscious taken for granted beliefs, thoughts and values which had provided the foundation for the merging schools must be revisited until a new culture develops which is accepted by the new community as appropriate to its needs. In the Conclusions and Recommendations section the stakeholder and community management issues often encountered in the amalgamation process are summarised and management recommendations are made and solutions proposed.
New Zealand -- Masterton, School management and organization, Catholic Church -- Education, Catholic high schools -- History, High schools, Educational change, School environment, St. Joseph's College (Masterton, N.Z.), St. Bride's Convent (Masterton, N.Z.), Chanel College (Masterton, N.Z.)