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Bringing Back the Village - Why every school should be a community school
Transcript of Bringing Back the Village - Why every school should be a community school
Final Presentation By Kelly Hannon My Thesis:
Public schools must return to what they once were: centers of the community. Without this central component, the struggle to create equitable, socially just, high quality schools will continue to haunt us. Without the community's involvement, urban students will not have the support needed to prepare them for the 21st century college classroom and workplace. Community schools are the key! The answer: COMMUNITY SCHOOLS PUT SIMPLY: It is a school which "reaches out to the
community and brings the community in." - Rep. Steny Hoyer It takes a village to raise a child. What does Pedro Noguera (2003) have to say about all this? "Policy makers continue to pretend that it is possible to improve the quality of education provided in these communities without simultaneously responding to the social and economic issues within the local environment" (p. 146) How a school can build social capital and civic capacity:
Bringing in "community volunteers in roles as tutors and mentors for students."
Forming "school-community partnerships to provide work-related internships."
Partnering with local universities as a "way to provide support to teachers in pedagogy and curriculum content."
Providing "health and welfare services to students and their families."
(pp. 99-100) This is EXACTLY what a community
school does!!! Well, what about Hargreaves and Fullan (2012)? "Developing professional capital is about helping people
to help themselves..." (p. 169) "The decline of public schools in the United States has also
weakened social capital in its urban communities, as
connecting with others in those communities through
one's children is a prime way to build relationships
with neighbors" (p. 90). "Talk together, plan together, work together -
that's the simple key. The bigger challenge is
how to get everyone to do that" (p. 114) Great question, Hargreaves and Fullan! How DO we get everyone to talk together, plan together, and work together... especially in struggling communities and struggling schools?
WHAT IS THE ANSWER?!! Mute the music so
you can hear this
good stuff! How does a community school help students? A community school is able, with its connections in the city
and local neighborhood, to take care of each child's basic needs
so the child's EDUCATION becomes the focus. The school works
as the hub of the neighborhood by providing services that are
normally inconveniently located elsewhere. http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/conation/maslow.html Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs: If we take care of the lower level needs, a student is much more likely to achieve personal growth, self-fulfillment, and ultimately gain the ability to help others do the same. A LOCAL EXAMPLE! How does this all come back to the issue of equity and social justice? I am the Learning Center Coordinator at GWCHS. I have seen continuous improvement over the five years that I have been working here. Without all the community partners, our success rate would not be nearly as high, and our students would not be achieving nearly as much. - People in poverty "often have less social capital" (Noguera, 2003, p.90) and as a result, schools in poor neighborhoods suffer. Community schools can help bridge these unheard voices to community institutions. It becomes a win-win situation when families of students in urban public schools gain the tools to share more of their voice in the local neighborhood. The school benefits from the family's involvement, and the community benefits by gaining more local solidarity. - Community schools aid in ending isolation within the neighborhood by bringing different voices together. This again goes back to the idea of the village raising the child. As Hargreaves and Fullan (2012) put it, "behavior is shaped by groups much more than by individuals... ...if you want positive change, then get the group to do the positive things that will achieve it" (p. 91). But what about us? How can community schools improve the quality of the teaching profession? As teachers, we would love more time to do what Hargreaves and Fullan (2012) suggest, and "sit down with [our] colleagues so [we] can take collective responsibility" for all our students (p. 157). But when our time is spent taking care of the lower level needs of our students (food, clothing, shelter, safety) it is easy to run out of time to collaborate, as well as take on leadership roles. This study specifically researched how community schools can better support teachers! Highlights of this study: FOUR WAYS COMMUNITY SCHOOLS HELP TEACHERS! 1. Reducing health-related obstacles to learning.
Example: MY SCHOOL! "Students at George Washington Community High School were able to meet all of the district's immunization requirements without missing classes" due to the fact that students could visit the ON-SITE health clinic. (Chang, 2012, p. 11) 2. Creating stronger teacher-family connections.
EXAMPLE: Gardner Pilot Academy in Boston hosts many family events throughout the year and use a family engagement director to recruit students and families to the school. The director communicates in situations where "it's really important for them to come and talk to their teacher(s) about a certain issue" (Chang, 2012, p. 13). 3. Reducing teacher burnout
EXAMPLE: Because "teacher turnover rates at high-poverty schools are almost twice as high as the turnover rates in low-poverty schools" (Chang, 2012, p. 15) having the wraparound services offered at community schools majorly reduces the stress and pressure on teachers who otherwise would be taking care of every student need. 4. Decreasing student mobility
EXAMPLE: Community partners can assist families who are under financial stress by helping with rent, food, etc. This prevents families from moving "from location to location as parents look for work and more affordable housing" which can be very disruptive for students, and as a result, teachers (Chang, 2012, p. 14). CONVINCED YET? Remember... as great as all this sounds... IT STILL BEGINS WITH US.
The TEACHERS. Even if you don't have a community school, it IS possible to create a community-driven staff. I leave you with a few more words from the authors we read in class. BE BRAVE.
"If you only work with people you already trust, they are likely to be very similar to you and you will learn less from them than you would from peers who are a bit different" (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012, p. 159). BE CONSCIOUS.
"Children don't get to choose their parents, the neighborhood they'll grow up in, the school they'll attend, or the teachers to whom they'll be assigned" (Noguera, 2003, p. 12) BE RESPONSIBLE.
"In the passion we often feel to change things or to change other people, the best and most important place to begin is with changing ourselves" (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012, p. 155) BE PROFESSIONAL.
"The most critical ingredient of school success: the availability of highly skilled and dedicated professionals" (Noguera, 2003, p. 20). THE END. ...and hopefully the beginning of a brighter future for our students. BIBLIOGRAPHY Mute the music to hear the video! Chang, T. (2012). Lightening the Load: A Look at Four Ways that Community Schools Can Support Effective Teaching. Washington D.C.: Center for American Progress.
Communityschools (2010, April 23). Community Schools For All. Retrieved April 20, 2013, from http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTLLL3MYGk
Educational Psychology Interactive: Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (n.d.). Educational Psychology Interactive. Retrieved April 25, 2013, from http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2012/01/18/10922/lightening-the-load/
Hargreaves, A., & Fullan, M. (2012). Professional capital: transforming teaching in every school. New York: Teachers College Press.
IPS Schools (2011, March 3). Get to know IPS George Washington Community High School. Retrieved April 20, 2013, from http:// youtube.com/watch?v=tYSE5zHKra0
Noguera, P. (2003). City schools and the American dream: reclaiming the promise of public education. New York: Teachers College Press.