ERIC Number: ED398026
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Community Involvement in Education.
Patterson, Bill; Horwood, Bert
During the 20th century, the involvement of communities in education has deteriorated, and the school and the community have evolved into separate worlds. This chapter describes ways in which a typical high school has increased its interactions with its own community. Those interactions have two dimensions: to bring the community into the school and to bring the school into the community. The first dimension uses community people as a resource. Community people have presented information and instruction in their area of expertise, provided transportation for field trips, and served as volunteer staff for major wilderness trips. An important result of this extensive contact is the development of a body of taxpayers who are accurately informed about and strongly supportive of the school and its programs. Examples of the second dimension include student "work days" that began as fund raising for an extracurricular outdoor program and developed into an essential community service, and an agreement with a local industrial lab in which senior biology students worked with research scientists for 2-5 days. The most serious implication of community involvement is the consequence of having people learn what is happening in school. If a school seeks allies in the community, it must be prepared to listen to criticism, join in reexamining its curriculum and practices, and act on community values and recommendations. Another difficulty is the lack of teacher education on community involvement, which has been overcome in this case by a stable community-based teaching staff. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Experience and the Curriculum; see RC 020 678.