ERIC Number: ED251549
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: N/A
Local Community Input into Urban Public Schools.
Dawson, Donald J.
In the broader context of school decentralization, two school-community groups in Toronto were studied in order to determine the establishment and developmental stages of such groups, and the processes whereby inputs are exchanged between school and community. One of the groups was Chinese and predominantly working class, the other was largely middle class and Anglo, with a substantial ethnic component (Greek). Data were collected by participant observation methods. Analysis of the data yielded the following major conclusions: (1) School boundary personnel (i.e. personnel who deal with both school and community), and particularly the principal, play key roles in determining how successful the school community relationship will be. (2) When the community involved is a middle class English-speaking one, the common socioeconomic backgrounds of community members and school staff, the numerous organizational and communicative skills of community members, and the relatively abundant social resources at the community's disposal make a cooperative staff-parent group, auxiliary to the school, a viable mechanism for community input. (3) Lower class ethnic communities, lacking such skills and resources, are much less likely to organize themselves successfully. In such communities however, outside agencies, employing personnel with the appropriate language and culture, can organize parents and other community members around a single salient school issue. The resulting groups are "autonomous" community organizations rather than "auxiliary" school-community groups. (CMG)
Descriptors: Anglo Americans, Case Studies, Cultural Differences, Decentralization, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Intercultural Communication, Minority Groups, Organizational Communication, Parent Associations, Parent School Relationship, Principals, School Community Relationship, Social Differences
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Toronto Univ. (Ontario).