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ERIC Number: ED545794
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 241
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-8939-5
Community Engagement through Collective Efficacy: Building Partnerships in an Urban Community to Encourage Collective Action to Increase Student Achievement in a Neighborhood School
Mc Mullen, Vickie
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Cincinnati
The challenge of ensuring educational equity, closing the achievement gap between African American students and White students attending public schools has gone on for half a century. As we enter the twenty-first century, neither educational reforms enacted by the public school system nor legislative actions, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, with its accountability mandate have produced solutions that will insure that African American children are equally educationally prepared to pursue a post-secondary education or to enter the workforce with marketable skills that would allow them to compete for jobs which offer competitive salaries more than a step above minimum wage. In fact the gap is widening (Ladson-Billings, 2006; Lee & Orfield, 2005). It has been suggested that public schools must change how they improve student learning outcomes and consider developing outside relationships (Elmore, 1996). There has been growing agreement on the importance of community involvement in schools (Epstein & Sheldon, 2005; Noguera, 2003; Sanders 2003). Researchers are continually examining what affect community involvement may have on the academic outcomes of children attending schools in urban communities. However, examining perceptions and beliefs of residents in predominantly African American communities and what variables may influence individuals in those communities to commit to working collectively for the educational success of children in their neighborhood required investigation. Using one-on-one in-depth interviews, field observations and documentation, this qualitative study examined long-term and short-term residents, and community organizational representatives' views from one community on perceived collective efficacy. This study utilized the conceptual framework of Bandura, (1982) and Sampson et al., (1997) Collective Efficacy construct. The findings suggest that using a qualitative approach provides data for studying perceived collective efficacy that offers comprehensive views and observations of conditions in neighborhoods (Pebley & Sastry, 2004). Unlike earlier examinations, my study revealed that many long term residents believed that their perceived collective efficacy which grew out of the strong relationships and ties, and the kinships that they developed, still exist today; and is central to their efforts to improve the quality of life for all residents in their community. The data also revealed that among short term residents, there appeared to be a lack of the same social support networks and kinships and willingness to build perceived collective relationships with neighbors. The data collected suggest that community residents and community organizations working collaboratively with neighborhood schools may facilitate perceived collective efficacy which could affect the academic success of children attending those schools. However, strong measurable evidence was not found in this study. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A