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ERIC Number: ED405147
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Small School Ritual and Parent Involvement.
Bushnell, Mary
This paper examines the ritual socialization of parents into a school community. Rituals may be mundane or sacred and typically involve actions that have transformative potential. In the context of groups, rituals may serve the purposes of identifying and constructing group identity, maintaining cohesion, and constructing and communicating values. The mundane quality and power of ritual are evident in the annual potluck dinner at one small private school in the Virginia Piedmont. Founded 10 years ago as an independent parent-run school, "Oakleaf Country School" serves approximately 50 students from preschool to fifth grade. Although the school began as a parent-run extension of home, it has become increasingly professionalized in the interests of certification and sustainability. The legacy of parent involvement remains strong, however, and the annual potluck dinner at the beginning of the school year serves to draw families to the school en masse and to communicate school values to parents. Following a detailed description of the event, an analysis points out ritualistic features that promote group cohesion, cooperation, and ideal school-family relations. Without the continued support of parents, this school could not exist financially or structurally. Events such as the potluck reinforce the importance of parents to the school and teach parents what kinds of support and involvement the school expects from them. Contains 12 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A