ERIC Number: ED451801
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding Successful School-University Collaboration: Drawing Conclusions through Focus Groups.
Borthwick, Arlene C.; Stirling, Terry; Nauman, April D.; Bishop, Grace; Mayer, Nancy J.
In research begun in 1999, participant perceptions of the elements required for successful school-university partnerships were explored. All participants were involved in partnerships of the Chicago Public Schools with a university partner. This study asked participants, through a series of focus groups, to examine, discuss, and draw their own conclusions about the data collected. By eliciting interpretations from the school administrators, classroom teachers, and university partnership coordinators and directors, this research increased understanding of how school-university partnerships are established and maintained. Four focus groups were established: five principals; three teachers; three university partnership coordinators; and three university directors. In this study, participants were asked to name factors related to partnership success identified in previous research through a Q sort technique and they were asked to interpret three Q-sort items from the previous study. Overall, there was a real consistency in the names developed by the focus groups for the factors. Focus group sessions did reinforce some differences in the perspectives of school-based partners in schools on probation versus those involved in partnerships voluntarily. Their comments on forced partners have implications for the consideration of trust in educational partnerships. Study findings show that using focus groups as a tool for organization development holds promise for asking people to step back from the day-to-day concerns of the partnership to work on maintaining healthy partnerships. (Contains 2 tables and 26 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A