ERIC Number: ED438742
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Aug-21
Resisting Community: Challenges for Participatory Action.
Calderwood, Patricia E.
This paper considers the question of faculty as "community." The study examined community-building efforts at one institution, which had been initiated in response to negative outside judgment about faculty effectiveness and that threatened the continued existence of the teacher preparation program. A "community committee" survey asked 32 faculty members in a large, urban university to define what they considered important elements of community, whether such conditions for community existed at the institution, and what could be done to bring about conditions supporting community. The study found that, overall, the education department resisted community-building efforts. Many of the faculty refused to submit written responses to the survey; some responded verbally and these responses were mostly negative, saying that establishing community was a futile endeavor. Written responses were more positive, offering suggestions for supporting scholarship and improving collegiality. However, when given coded anonymous responses, the committee paid no attention to the suggestions offered, finessed responses as a critique of the dean and his policies, and tried to uncover anonymity; when that failed, the issue was dropped. The study concludes that, in part, institutional factors such as tenure and promotion mitigate against community, but the lack of community mostly results from the absence of respect and trust within the professional community. (CH)
Descriptors: College Environment, College Faculty, Collegiality, Community, Educational Cooperation, Educational Environment, Higher Education, Interprofessional Relationship, Organizational Climate, Participative Decision Making, Peer Relationship, Professional Autonomy, Quality of Working Life, School Culture, Teacher Collaboration, Teamwork
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (107th, Boston, MA, August 20-24, 1999).