ERIC Number: ED439001
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Developing Shared Youth and Adult Leadership within Communities.
Collins, Timothy; Branham, Dan
This paper proposes a model in which the rural school becomes an active agent in community economic development through leadership development and civic education. Families, school, and community are the three pillars of public education, and the concept of community engagement is crucial to rebuilding this educational partnership and creating an atmosphere conducive to building leadership that sustains both the school and the community. Whereas community involvement is coordinated by school officials to fill school needs and communication is from the top down, community engagement emphasizes two-way communication. School administrators provide leadership, but they also cultivate leadership in the community by coordinating talents and skills of community members, listening to citizens' concerns, and building the trust necessary to engage in reforms to improve the school's performance. Obstacles exist in four categories: systemic (inside and outside the school system) and personal (school staff and citizens). Because school officials hold the reins of power and finances, they have to take the first steps. This is not easy, because they often fear losing their power, but sharing power can actually enhance their position by broadening their base of support. Several models for reconstituting politics are presented that emphasize more democratic participation in schools, and ways of developing leadership, especially among youth, are discussed. The long-term benefits of school-community partnerships include leadership development, renewed civic responsibility, and a revitalized sense of community. (Contains 20 references and 18 related Web sites.) (TD)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Change Strategies, Citizenship Responsibility, Community Development, Community Involvement, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Leadership, Leadership Qualities, Participative Decision Making, Politics of Education, Role of Education, Rural Development, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, Social Capital
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: AEL, Inc., Charleston, WV.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A