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ERIC Number: ED390169
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Sketching Community in Schools: Uncertain Lessons for Policy and Practice.
Westheimer, Joel
This paper reviews the book "Building Community in Schools," by Thomas Sergiovanni. The book's thesis--that schools are better understood as social rather than as formal organizations--is based on the assumption that the universal need for belonging and connection too often is unfulfilled in schools. The book recommends that school-reform efforts should be based on school-community building and provides a moral justification for community and a clear theoretical model for changing perceptions of schools. However, the paper argues that the book is less clear when discussing the social and political forces that present challenges to schools, specifically, how to manage conflict that accompanies the development of belief/mission statements. The book does not distinguish between having a common purpose and the content of that purpose. It also fails to adequately convey the dilemmas that practitioners face or to suggest processes for overcoming them. By using ideologically palatable examples of shared beliefs while also maintaining that the content of the beliefs are not important, the book evades the question of how communities manage conflict and how they ensure full participation of members with a diversity of backgrounds and interests. (Contains nine references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Book/Product Reviews
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).