ERIC Number: ED401649
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Oct
Schools and Neighborhood-Based Collaboration: Structural Resistances and Realities.
Community-based interagency collaboration among schools and other public service agencies is one reform idea for addressing the complex conditions of children with a high level of needs. This paper presents findings of a study that explored the workings of one community-based collaboration, referred to as the Community-Based Collaboration for Families (CBCF), in two low-income neighborhoods of a midsized midwestern city. The study sought to examine the ways in which the school structures, routines, and regularities changed or resisted the goals of the collaboration. Data were obtained through observation; document review; and interviews with 31 CBCF team members, school-community liaisons, residents, agency administrators, and 130 students. The paper discusses three themes of resistance: (1) the rigidity of school-ascribed roles; (2) the resulting focus on students as clients separate from their families; and (3) the various and conflicting conceptions of time. The findings demonstrate that the rigidity and regularities of the school cannot be reconciled by simply setting up a "link" between schools and organizations. Indeed, the link may operate inadvertently as a foil for change. A prerequisite for an integrative approach in collaboration may require the disruption of fundamental conventions, routines, and forms, such as roles, responsibilities, clients, and time. In sum, connections between agencies are as vulnerable as the weakest link, and simple links cannot reconcile rigid conventions and regularities. Developers of agency-school collaboration should consider alternative understandings of roles, responsibilities, and time. (Contains 18 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A