Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This
submit to reddit

Parental Involvement And Parental Participation Education Essay

In the literature, the notions of parental involvement and parental participation are often not clearly operationalized (Feuerstein, 2000). The description of ‘parental involvement’ has been expanded from participation of parents at school to include involvement of parents in the education of their children at home (Smit et al, 2007). Desforges (2003), for example, distinguishes two forms of parental involvement/ participation, namely ‘spontaneous’ versus ‘planned.’ Whereas the first is bottom-up, the second is more top down and typically concerns interventions or programmes aimed to solve the problem of insufficient or no parental involvement.

Epstein (1995) defines home, school and community partnerships as exemplifying a relationship between “three major contexts in which students live and grow” (p. 702) and in which shared interests in and responsibilities for children are recognized. In addition, Funkhouser and Gonzales (1997) state that successful partnerships involve the sustained mutual collaboration, support and participation of school staffs and families at home and at school, in activities and efforts that have a positive effect on the academic success of children in school. Because home, school and community represent the major overlapping spheres of influence in children’s education and development, researchers and practitioners call for their collaboration as partners who “work together to create better programs and opportunities for students” (Epstein, 1995, p. 701).

Socio-cultural researchers define “community” as a “community of practice” – that is, a group of people engaged in an activity driven by common or closely intersecting goals and interests (Wenger, 1998; Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002). In pursuit of these goals and interests, they employ common practices, work with the same tools or resources and use specific discourse. Communities constitute social contexts and meanings for learning as people participate in social practices. Knowledge is integrated in the doing, social relations and expertise of these communities. Furthermore, the processes of learning and membership in a community of practice are inseparable. Because learning is intertwined with community membership, it is what lets people belong to and adjust their status in the group. As participants change, their learning and their identity – relationship to and within the group – also change. Therefore, communities constitute the most powerful learning environments for children, creating potential for their development as children engage in social practices with others.

This approach to learning suggests that teachers need to understand their students’ communities of practice and acknowledge the learning students do in such communities (Saxe, 2002; Sfard, 2002). Drawing on communities’ funds of knowledge can capitalize on cultural diversity and overcome any mismatch between students’ home environments and the culture of school. McIntyre, Rosebery and Gonzalez (2001) argue that minority and poor children can succeed in school if classroom practices give them the same advantage that middle class children have – instruction that puts knowledge of their communities and experiences at the heart of their learning. In the view of these researchers, learning mathematics is more than structured individualized cognition; it is also dependent on the social and cultural situation and values of the learner.

International research points to large differences in the manner in which and extent to which parents are involved in the education of their children. The differences have been found to be associated with, among other things, the social and ethnic background and thereby social-ethnic composition of the school population. The degree and form of involvement, according to Desforges (2003), are strongly influenced by social origin, educational background of the mother, material deprivation, the psycho-social health of the mother, growing up in a single-parent family and—but to a lesser extent—ethnicity. The opinions of the parents regarding their role and their level of trust in their ability to fulfill this role have also been found to be of critical importance (Symeou, 2001; Phtiaka, 2001). Kohl, Lengua and McMahon (2000) conclude on the basis of a comparison of ‘black’ and ‘white’ parents in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the USA that there are no differences for a number of aspects of parental involvement but definitely differences for a number of risk factors, such as parental education and single-parent family. The authors emphasize that the quality of the involvement is more important than the quantity. Driessen, Smit and Sleegers (2005) conclude that the extent to which the child is open to parental involvement is the strongest predictor of parental involvement at home while parental involvement at school depends primarily on the extent to which teachers invite such involvement. Sheldon (2002) points to the importance of the size of the social networks of parents as an important predictor of parental involvement.

The discussion in the earlier sections of the study shows the paradigm shift that has occurred with regards to seeing education as not just the primary responsibility of either the parents or the school. What emerges, therefore, is recognition of the interdependence among parents, schools, and the community to further a common goal—that is, the proper education and bringing up of children, a task that is clearly lifelong in nature (Ndahayo and Gaikwad, 2004). In fact, a good number of research point to the fact that children do better when there is an integration of efforts between their parents and the school (for example, see Pleyvak and Heaston, 2001 and Ndahayo and Gaikwad, 2004, among others).

According to the Scottish Inspectorate of Education (2006), the close working relationships between parents and schools help to develop children's learning attitudes, thus making them more capable of achieving their full potential. At the same time, parental involvement ensures that teachers have a clearer and better understanding of the children's family circumstances and personal achievements and traits.

Parents are likewise benefited by this arrangement because now they are in a better position to understanding what their children learn, how well they are getting along in class and with friends and, most importantly, how they can contribute positively to support such learning in their own home. Clear communication channels between parents and teachers allow them address issues and concerns quickly and effectively, so as to minimize their negative impact on the children.

Parents play an important role in helping their child foster a positive attitude towards sports, as they are the ones who can influence future sport activity choices (Kanters, 2008). Parents have also come to view their children's participation in competitive sports as a key component in their overall socialization. It is not only the school that shares the burden of responsibility with parents in the proper education of children. For example, the UK government has also already recognized the fact that making children learn the importance of regular physical activity in relation to good health has to be tackled even at the policy making level (Hemming, 2007). This recognizes that society has to step in and make mandatory certain aspects of the proper education of children to facilitate their development, because parents and schools can only go so far without having a uniform and effective framework to work with in implementing their plans and programs for health activities (Hemming, 2007).

The fact that majority of the school-based health initiatives launched in the UK in the past few years represents an important paradigm shift: the emphasis on developing a young population that is physically active and healthy is no longer the sole responsibility of parents and individuals, but of the school system as well.

Epstein (1995) said that the model of overlapping spheres of shared influence among the three major contexts where students learn and grow—the family, school and community—can be drawn together or pushed apart, depending on the collaborative framework that is established among them. This model locates the student at the center of learning, and so all efforts are geared towards helping them progress in their education and socialization.

Padavick (2009) noted that one of the most important factors for the successful academic performance of children is the involvement of parents in their learning. His study presented an exhaustive analysis of relevant literature that surrounds the idea of parental involvement in the rearing process of children, along with the various theoretical concepts that have attempted to define just what parental involvement means in such a context. He wrote that parental involvement emerged as a concept in the learning process of the child in 1890s, when the need to define the relationship between parents and schools became apparent. Parent/teacher associations were the first institutions that linked the parent to the school. Later on, this led to the involvement not only of educational authorities in the care and upbringing of the child, but also of the state. The US federal government began to pay more attention to the different programs that can contribute to the positive development of the children and the family, by tapping into the resources and activities of the school.

The upshot of such involvement, however, turned out to be unfortunate, because the parents slowly delegated the opportunity—or task, depending on how one perceives the matter—to guide their children’s learning to the school authorities and to the government. Because of the lesser emphasis that was given to their actual help in shaping the educational achievement of the children, parents took on a more passive involvement in the studies of the latter (Padavick, 2009; Wright, Tim, 2009).

This laid-back attitude of the parents can be traced to varying perceptions of the parents and the teachers with regards to the extent of parental involvement of the former in their children’s education. Clearly, meaningful relationships can only be built if both parties understand the importance of their mutual participation in the upbringing and education of the child. Parents tend to think that once they have provided financially for the education of their children, their role in the educational process has already been satisfied (Flakes, 2007), but this is far from the truth. Parents actually have the permanent responsibility not only to care for the child but also to educate him or her continuously, such that they could not completely delegate the task of education to the teachers in school. Students benefit from this arrangement because they can still show successful academic achievement despite other factors that can serve to pull down the same, if and when parents are able to show active support throughout their early educational years.

The notion of parental involvement in the education of children is significant because it will show the extent to which parents are responsible for the latter’s education. It can serve as the threshold boundary for pointing out where the responsibility of school administrators, teachers and society starts. It is through their active participation that parents show their genuine interest not only in the development of their child, but also in their academic achievement and schooling (Padavick, 2009).

Parental behavior is important in inculcating the first study habits of the child because it is the parents who first establish the need to have appropriate study and play times, as well as giving encouragement and motivation for them to do their homework and other school-related activities. Therefore, they set up not only the expectations that their children must strive for, but also familiar routines that would help the latter focus on their studies and improve academic performance later on (Cotton and Wikelund, 1989 as cited in Padavick, 2009).

Motivation is an important aspect of learning because it is what pushes the learner to actually absorb the lessons that he or she learns in school and to use it along with other previous knowledge and skills. Motivation allows for the different building blocks of learning to become one integrated whole, thus shaping the child’s experiences and perspectives.

Any kind of learning requires a good amount of motivation—both from the part of the student to whom the information will be given, and from the part of the teacher who is expected to provide the necessary input to jumpstart the learning process. Thus, it is also important to look at how motivation affects the quality and speed of the learning process, and to see how to increase such motivation especially on the part of the student.

For example, Liuolienė and Metiūnienė (2006) have noted that motivation in second language (L2) learning research has received much attention in the past decade, especially motivational theories in play inside the L2 classroom. Researchers agree that motivation plays a vital role in the learner’s achievement, if only because the urge to learn is coming from an internal, not an external, source. So powerful is motivation that it can actually be harnessed to override other learning factors such as language aptitude, to affect the student’s performance in both negative and positive ways.

But parents are not the end-all and be-all of the education of their children. Even as school boards and administrators try to engage the parents of their students in meaningful working relationships to improve the behavior and academic performance of the latter, it is still important to note that the motivation to learn is not supplied only by the parents. Such relationships would lead to a more integrated approach in raising the bar of expectations and achievements that a child could attain.

Thus, it appears from the research that it is the teachers who first initiate the establishment of a working relationship between the parents, school, and society at large (Padvick, 2009). There is emphasis on the fact that parents can move out of passive support for their children’s education to taking a more proactive role in the latter’s development, to the point that they become “life-long tutors” who are willing to keep open lines of communication with the teachers of their children so that increased academic performance may be achieved (Padavick, 2009). Home-schooling parents may be the only exception to the rule in the sense that they do not have to coordinate with their child’s teachers to monitor and improve the former’s academic performance. But the child will not stay homeschooled forever. For this purpose, it is important that home-schooling parents recognize that they may have to share the burden and the privilege of having joint influence over their child’s education with his or her teachers in the future.

Majority of the literature points to the fact that there is a lack of sufficient parental involvement in shaping the educational performance of the child (Padavick, 2009. Thus, it is important to understand the expectations and contributions that each stakeholder—parent, teacher or community—can give to the positive development of children. This is important because only when goals and interests of all the parties concerned are established can earnest efforts to an integration of strategies be made.

Of course, every teacher would want not only a motivated student, but also a student who has the benefit of a good family-school-community partnership to support his successful academic achievement. The problem, however, is that there is a lack of coordinated efforts among these three partners in securing the proper development of the child. In this regard, the teachers can actually use some help in creating effective strategies that can build meaningful partnerships between them and the parents and communities of the students and convince them to be more actively involved in the children’s learning.

Parental attitudes in learning impact on how their children view education as well, and they can thus be used as an important tool for manipulating and increasing the children’s interests in their own studies Hill, Nnenia (2009). However, perhaps because of their jobs or their family obligations, parents have been giving lesser attention to their children’s learning process. Thus, it is the teachers who must create ways and means to reach out to the parents and convince them to take on a more active part in the educational endeavors of the children.

For example, teachers have to effectively convince the parents not to become too intimidated with the school environment and the teachers who take over their children’s education Hill, Nnenia (2009). Parents do not always feel welcome or needed in the learning process of their children, so this may be one reason why they would rather retreat to the sidelines, so to speak. This serves as the single biggest barrier that stops the parents and teachers from getting across to one another to build a meaningful relationship that will benefit the children the most and ensure their continuous education and development.

Flakes (2007) further noted other reasons why parents do not cooperate with the teachers in ensuring the high educational achievement of their children, especially among parents of children who belong to minority groups. There is a lack of general trust in the educational institutions, discomfort in speaking to the teachers, and a tendency to equate the probing questions of the teachers to disrespect. In this regard, it is important for teachers to help parents feel at home in the working relationship and to encourage their participation in a positive manner. This can only be done if both parties know how much each one can contribute to the development of the child, in order to complement the other in the best way possible.

But the working relationship is incomplete without the active involvement of the third important factor—the community (Epstein 2001). The overlapping spheres of influence that Epstein (2001) had identified are situated in such a way that the child is found at the center. The community is as important as either of the other two factors because it can actually serve to strengthen notions that relate on the extent of the role of the family and the school in the upbringing of the child.

For example, Corner and Haynes (1997) noted that the lack of working relationship between parents and teachers in some inner-city neighborhoods in the United States have been intensified because of the artificial distinctions that society has created between the two. Society says that the school is responsible only for the academic learning of the child, while the family has exclusive power over the child’s emotional and moral development. This categorized system of learning has somehow prevented parents and teachers from reaching out to one another in order to create meaningful partnerships directed at improving their children’s holistic education.

The truth of the matter is that children do not stop learning wherever they may be (Corner and Haynes 1997). They do bring their knowledge from either home or school into the other. Thus, it is important to create a seamless learning environment between the home and the school in order to help integrate the child’s knowledge and learning experiences.

This is where the community comes into the picture. By providing policies and programs that can strengthen the parent-teacher relationship, the community can contribute to the positive development of the child. Epstein (2001) wrote that part of the goal of the working relationship is to create a “family-like school” or “school-like policy”, concepts that bring together the best that each learning sphere has to offer. Abromitis (2009) likewise noted that with the community overseeing the coordination of efforts between parents and teachers, effective sharing of resources is possible. For example, schools can provide parents and their children easy access to community resources and services that they may need in order to boost the latter’s academic performance.

Smit, Driessen, Sluiter and Sleegers (2007) have investigated the types of parents and school strategies to create en effective partnership. The results of this study showed that parents in white schools support the teachers on activities; these parents are represented as supporters. On the other hand, parents that are not in the non-minority group and obviously with high social status always have a say in school matters. These parents act as politicians. In contrast, schools with a lot of students that is disadvantaged, parents are given little or no attention in a say for school matters. There is a bottleneck in white schools for parents that have no time to support the activities. These parents are career parents. On the other hand, there is a bottleneck in black schools as the parents here do not perceive themselves as qualified in participating in various school activities. These parents are labeled as absentee parents. It is further shown in the research that strategies that are parallel with the different types of parents can be identified in school teams in order to realize effective partnership relations.

Meyer, Armstrong-Coben and Batista (2005) described a model of community-academic partnership in New York City. The partnership included pediatric residents and Alianza Dominicana, Inc., a community based social service organization. The goal of the partnership was to promote child health and development in the community. According to the 2000 census, 72% of the community served described themselves as Dominican. The community was located in a rural area with economically disadvantaged working class residents. Meyer et al. (2005) reflectively described four principles that lead to the success of this culturally diverse partnership. First, a trusting relationship was established among university faculty, pediatric residents and community residents. The relationship took years to develop because of misconceptions between the pediatric residents and the community. The community perceived university faculty as the “Ivory Tower” and the pediatric residents as “arrogant and all-knowing”. The pediatric residents perceived the community as impoverished and lacking assets. Initially, the pediatric residents did not see the assets within the community. Therefore, the message was to abandon biases in order to have a positive working relationship. This was achieved through training sessions led by community leaders and faculty members. Community leaders gradually gained leadership roles within the medical residency program. Next, the establishment of specific defined goals was determined. The formation of the board of directors, consisting of representatives from the community, faculty and residents, was the third principle and the last principle leading to the success of the partnership was open communication using a common language. The creation of a common language was developed through “Narrative Lunches”, an activity for residents and community members to talk about cultural differences in an open dialogue (Meyer et al. 2005).

Buttery and Anderson (1999) published a synthesis and literature regarding the dynamics between the parents, community and school. In summary, they emphasized that interaction between and among homes and school are very crucial for building a learning environment. The United States has stood long before the promotion of education in children as well as the promotion of parental partnership with the community for the overall growth of children. This will further enhance the effectiveness of the schools.

Smit and Driessen (2005) published a study regarding the importance of education as a prerequisite in the involvement of parents as well as the teachers in the intercultural problems at school and in the society. However, in most cases, there underlies a lack in communication. It has been suggested that teachers and parents should be more aware of the fact that they need each other in communicating better regarding the pedagogical problems especially at home and school. Also, they need to communicate in integrating their contribution to the children’s upbringing and education.

Boaduo, Milondzo and Adjei (2009) conducted a study regarding parent-community involvement in school governance and its effect on teacher’s effectiveness and improvement on the performance of the learners. The study was conducted in primary and secondary schools in Botswana. The drawn conclusion from this said study is that in schools wherein parents and community involvement is very visible, teachers are effective and contributes to the students’ positive behavior and their performances’ improved.

Coleman and Hutchens (1995) conducted a predicted study of administrative and teacher variables regarding their communication in early childhood education. Four hundreds eighty three preschool teacher samples were studied. Results of multiple regression analysis showed that the characteristics of early childhood setting that is associated with administrative decision contributes mainly in explaining the variance of how often parents and teachers communicate.

Kilpatrick, Johns and Mulford (2003) conducted a study regarding the development of community partnerships in learning in the rural communities. It was concluded in this study that the approach to school-community relationship is very crucial to the long-term chances of success. A tactical approach involving a series of tactics or quick fixes, or a strategic approach focusing only on particular areas of weakness and strategies to address these areas, are not as likely to be as successful as ongoing capacity building arising from a sense of shared school–community vision for the future. At the same time, it must be recognized that building of school–community partnerships occurs over time, and leadership processes must acknowledge and build on this. It is aimed of having a school and community that have a sense of agency; that is, an ability to act purposefully in pursuit of goals, to self-regulate, and to learn and change as and when they decide it is in their collective interests to do so.

In a similar study by Goos, Lowrie and Jolly (2007), wherein Australia is the subject, they have explored the arising research on educational partnership between families, schools and communities. The partnership’s impacts in learning diversity in children’s numeracy and learning were studied. It was concluded in this study that in the field of home, school and community partnerships there is no consistent agreement about the meaning of the terms “partnerships”, “parent involvement” and “community involvement”. Many different kinds of activities fall within this field. In addition, the stakeholders in these connections between home, school and community may hold conflicting perceptions about numeracy, and about their roles and the roles of other stakeholders. In studying effective partnerships in numeracy education, the importance of relationships, mutual trust, and respect developed over an extended period of time was a theme that emerged from our case study analysis. This essential goodwill cannot be created entirely by funding or targeted programs, and programs such as the Mobile Pre-school Pilot Program and Distance Education in rural Australia owe their success to a long history of cooperation and joint enterprise centered on the welfare and education of children, their families and communities. It was also noteworthy that some of the most effective partnerships we identified for our case studies were not initiated as numeracy programs but took a more holistic approach (cf Hexter, 1990). The research indicates that building strong home-school-community partnerships around children’s learning in general can lay the groundwork for numeracy-specific learning. In culturally diverse communities we would suggest that partnership building is of paramount importance, and should proceed – or at least accompany – the introduction of educational programs that seek to initiate children into numeracy practices that are valued but different from those of their home culture. Plenty of evidence was found that parents genuinely care about their children’s education, it was equally clear that not all parents want to be actively involved in all aspects of schooling and many see their role as primarily a supportive one. Perhaps the most productive way forward is to focus on what each participant – parent, teacher, community member – can bring to the partnership that will make best use of their diverse expertise, backgrounds, and interests in supporting the child’s numeracy learning.

Dhingra, Manhas and Sethi (2007) examined the parents’ participation of parents in school related activities. Further, it listed the various means of communication being used by parents to acquire information regarding the children’s performance and suggestion on improving the relationship between schools and parents. It was found that parental involvement in schools was limited. Very few of them were members of governing committee or acted as resource persons. Whenever there was incidence of involvement fathers exceeded in numbers. Parents were mostly concerned about the academic performance of their wards. Majority of mothers visited schools on a regular basis to know about their child’s performance. The issues of discussion were mainly conduct of the child and general school performance. However, parents used varied sources to gather information about child related issues and the most commonly used medium was school dairy (71%) followed by parent teacher meeting (50%), school magazine etc.

Another national study explored transition practices (Early, Pianta, Taylor, & Cox, 2001) and examined the hypothesis that school-centered transition practices had three characteristics: 1) provided outreach to families, preschools, and communities; 2) looked back in time to make connections before child entered school; and 3) provided activities of appropriate intensity. Using data from the National Center for Early Development and Learning (NCEDL) Transition Practices Survey (stratified, random sample of over 10,000 kindergarten teachers), researchers described transition practices and identified transition barriers. Between-group comparisons were conducted from over 3,500 questionnaires. Main findings showed that teachers with training in transition activities made efforts to vary activities. Delays in obtaining class lists created barriers to optimal transition practice. Also, schools need to create ready environments rather than holding high expectations of individual children’s school readiness.

Jewett et al. (1998) engaged in a narrative study of four elementary teachers to understand what is involved in effectively supporting school readiness (i.e., transition) of children with special needs. Researchers used data from teachers’ reflective journal writings from April to December 1996. Results were categorized into five transition tasks. A theme of stressfulness emerged based on many challenges for teachers. Researchers suggested schools must acknowledge teachers’ overwhelming responsibility and assist in alleviating stressors by providing additional support and resources.

Another Head Start study explored teachers and children as co-creators of behaviors characterized as at risk or promise as children transitioned to kindergarten. Researchers conducted an ethnographic study in 1993 that included observations over a 6-month period at a local Head Start/Transition Demonstration site. Skinner, Bryant, Coffman, and Campbell (1998) followed 21 students in the target group through kindergarten. Field notes were analyzed which revealed evidence that even in the first weeks of school, teachers and kindergartners showed signs of co-constructing practices that moved children onto a path of school failure. Issues of race and culture became part of the discourse and co-construction. Teachers held unrealistic expectations to “fix” the at risk child. Traditional learning environments did not support children’s ongoing development whereas those who spent more time and energy drawing out children’s individual strengths co-created constructs of promise. Ethnographers acknowledged that children’s academic promise was a joint responsibility of schools, homes, communities, and larger society.

The offering of opportunities for parents to participate in the education of their children has been found to exert a positive influence on the cognitive development and achievement of pupils (Boethel, 2004; Driessen & Smit, 2007; Epstein et al, 2002). However, a few studies show no effects of such opportunities (Mattingly, Prinslin, McKenzie, Rodriguez & Kayzar, 2002). Parental participation is also often considered one of the most important components or characteristics of effective schools (Driessen, Smit & Sleegers, 2005). In addition to the positive effects of parental participation on the school achievement of children, positive effects on the social functioning of pupils have also been found in various studies. This involves aspects of the behavior of pupils, their motivation, social competence, the relations between teachers and pupils, and the relations among the pupils themselves (Boethel, 2003; Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Jordan, Orozco & Averett, 2001).

Meyer, Armstrong-Coben and Batista (2005) described a model of community-academic partnership in New York City. The partnership included pediatric residents and Alianza Dominicana, Inc., a community based social service organization. The goal of the partnership was to promote child health and development in the community. According to the 2000 census, 72% of the community served described themselves as Dominican. The community was located in a rural area with economically disadvantaged working class residents. Meyer et al. (2005) reflectively described four principles that lead to the success of this culturally diverse partnership. First, a trusting relationship was established among university faculty, pediatric residents and community residents. The relationship took years to develop because of misconceptions between the pediatric residents and the community. The community perceived university faculty as the “Ivory Tower” and the pediatric residents as “arrogant and all-knowing”. The pediatric residents perceived the community as impoverished and lacking assets. Initially, the pediatric residents did not see the assets within the community. Therefore, the message was to abandon biases in order to have a positive working relationship. This was achieved through training sessions led by community leaders and faculty members. Community leaders gradually gained leadership roles within the medical residency program. Next, the establishment of specific defined goals was determined. The formation of the board of directors, consisting of representatives from the community, faculty and residents, was the third principle and the last principle leading to the success of the partnership was open communication using a common language. The creation of a common language was developed through “Narrative Lunches”, an activity for residents and community members to talk about cultural differences in an open dialogue (Meyer et al. 2005).

Some of the literature sources advised that the decision about the precise nature of parent involvement must take into account cultural, ethnic and class differences as well as variations related to the age and gender of learners (Fullan, 2001). Furthermore, Shaeffer (1994) is of the opinion that in determining what conditions parent-community involvement is most beneficial we have to understand the different forms of parent-community participation and their consequences for the school, the learner and other personnel in the whole school system. The reason provided by Shaeffer and others is that certain forms of involvement produce positive results while others may be wasteful or completely counter productive (Anderson, 1991; Shaeffer, 1994).

Leadership processes in order to bring about and support sustainable change within educational settings (e.g. Mulford, 2003; Lambert, 1998; Sergiovanni, 1994). Leithwood (1994) and Silins & Mulford (2002) argue that transformational leadership facilitates effective school reform. Transformational leadership practices of school leaders include the development of a widely shared school vision and collaborative culture, fostering the commitment and capacity of staff, distributing responsibility for leadership, and supporting collaboration with appropriate resourcing. These notions of leadership are supported in the community development literature (e.g. Henton, Melville & Walesh, 1997; Langone & Rohs, 1995; Chrislip & Larson, 1994). Other elements or building blocks for effective school−community partnerships are summarized by Schorr (1997), who found that successful programs: are not mandated by policy but respond to community needs; rely on the community’s own resources and strengths; draw extensively on outside resources for funding, technical expertise and to influence policy; and are based on strong relationships based on mutual trust and respect which are sustained by institutional support. Schorr (1997) also noted that successful school−community partnerships have a long-term orientation and continue to evolve over time. Other factors identified in the literature as influencing the school–community partnership include size of the school and community and proximity of the school to the community, continuity of resources, and the importance of publicity and two-way communication (Carlsmith & Railsback, 2001; CRLRA, 2001; Miller, 1995; Combs & Bailey, 1992).

Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This

Share This Essay

To share this essay on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ just click on the buttons below:

Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Request the removal of this essay.


More from UK Essays