ERIC Number: ED229471
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-May
Reference Count: N/A
Strengthening Connections between Schools and Communities as a Method of Improving Urban Schools. Documentation and Technical Assistance in Urban Schools.
Wilson, Stephen H.
This paper discusses how strengthening connections between the school and its community can help to improve a school's problem solving capacity. The paper is based on data collected by the Documentation and Technical Assistance Project of the Center for New Schools (Chicago, Illinois), from observation of nine school sites which were involved in school improvement projects. Of the nine sites, four emphasized intensive community involvement in school improvement, while the rest emphasized other factors. Analysis of the data indicated that: (1) the usual practice of putting parent representatives on advisory or decision making committees in a token capacity is generally ineffective and neglects the possible contributions that parents can make as active board members; (2) in sites where the community was found to have contributed significantly to problem solving, there had been deliberate efforts to build strong school-community bonds through training and socialization of school staff and community representatives; (3) effective school-community linkages emphasized particularistic rather than universalistic interaction; (4) community elites were important in forging linkages between schools and communities; and (5) strengthened bonds allowed communities to make unexpected contributions such as shielding schools from bureaucratic complications, obtaining special resources, providing skilled adjunct staff, and modifying concepts of school roles. (Author/MJL)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. School Capacity for Problem Solving Group.
Authoring Institution: Center for New Schools, Inc., Chicago, IL.