ERIC Number: ED461459
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Taking the Lead: The Role of Rural Schools in Community Development.
Johns, S.; Kilpatrick, S.; Mulford, B.; Falk, I.
A study examining school contributions to community development collected data from five rural Australian communities via interviews with school and community members, documentation from school and community sources, and observation. Preliminary findings from two communities suggest that in both, the school was a key player in building and maintaining relationships. In one community, the school was the only central meeting place for community members. Activities organized by, or in conjunction with, the school promoted social cohesion and inclusiveness throughout the community. An online access center at the school provided community members access to a wide variety of information and a place to exchange ideas. There was a high level of community involvement in school decision making, which contributed to community ownership of the school. This involvement was enhanced by a school philosophy that welcomes community involvement and a leadership process based on building trust and mutual respect between school staff and community members. In the other community, the school has played a key role in integrating youth into the community through work-based learning, a cadet scheme, and a volunteer reading program using retirees as tutors. In both sites, schools have helped build social capital by fostering close partnerships with their communities, developing cooperation, communication, and trust. School contributions have been maximized by leadership processes with a strong focus on building relationships across community sectors. (Contains 28 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Change Strategies, Community Cooperation, Community Development, Community Involvement, Community Leaders, Foreign Countries, Participative Decision Making, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, School Role, Social Capital, Social Networks
For full text: http://www.acea.edu.au/elo/newsletters/acea_2000/34.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Barton (Australia).
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia