ERIC Number: ED382755
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Caring Is Not Enough: Assessing Community in High Schools.
This paper described the preliminary results from the first phase of an exploratory study that seeks to define and understand sense of community on high school campuses. Three teacher focus groups, one administrator focus group, and one student focus group were held, ranging in size from five to nine participants. Participants were diverse in ethnicity and social class, representing a total of 17 public and private high schools. Ethnographic observations at additional schools were added as the study progressed. To date, focus groups suggest that shared beliefs and interests, warm interpersonal relationships, democratic and participatory functional relationships, and the incorporation of diversity are critical dimensions of school community. Discussions with students and staff also indicate that nonteaching staff, such as custodians or security guards, may play significant roles in the school community. In general, public school staff felt relatively powerless to improve the campus environment, but students thought that much could be done to improve the level of community on campus. The difficulties brought about by the lack of community outside the school were noted by participants. (Contains 24 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Administrators, Community Psychology, Community Relations, Educational Environment, Ethnic Groups, Focus Groups, High School Students, High Schools, Institutional Characteristics, Interpersonal Relationship, Private Schools, Public Schools, School Personnel, Secondary School Teachers, Urban Schools
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).