The following annotated bibliography offers a selected list of key research and planning guides to help you get started in strengthening partnerships with parents and community agencies.
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. (1988). Partnerships: Support beyond the school. In An imperiled generation: Saving urban schools. (pp. 41-49). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
This section of the Carnegie Report discusses the need for building support networks for urban schools. The authors note that this is particularly important during children's early schooling. The report provides recommendations and examples for involving organizations outside the school. The researchers argue that parents, institutions of higher education, corporate organizations, and state policymakers must all work with schools to improve education for urban children. The authors highlight some of the ways in which partnerships can enhance educators' ability to respond to the needs of their culturally and linguistically diverse students by providing tutoring, mentoring, and internships programs for students.
Center for the Future of Children. (1992, Spring). School linked services. In The Future of Children 2(1). Los Altos, CA: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
In this issue of The Future of Children, the articles present a complex proposal for schools to play a significantly increased role in the coordination and/or provision of health and social services to children and their families. This compilation of articles offers a comprehensive and multidisciplinary discussion on the development of policies related to school- linked, integrated services. David Tyack looks at this issue from a historical perspective and analyzes what lessons we can draw from past reform efforts. William Morrill compares both qualitatively and quantitatively, the current dimensions and structure of the education, health, and social service systems in relation to the needs of children. Selected examples of school- linked services are presented by Janet Levy and Bill Shepardson. Frank Farrow and Tom Joe analyze current patterns of financing services for children. Sidney Gardner identifies the key issues involved in developing school-linked services in a community, including planning, targeting, governance, and staffing. What school leadership and staff must do to prepare for school-linked services is described in an article by Jeanne Jehl and Michael Kirst. Martin Gervy reviews federal policies and efforts to support school linked, integrated services. Based on this compilation of literature, this issue concludes with a critical analysis of the issues involved in developing school linked services.
Chang, Hedy. (1993). Serving ethnically diverse communities. Education and Urban Society, 25(2), pp. 212- 221.
In this article, Chang discusses the need for social service providers to be responsive to the linguistic and cultural diversity of the clients they serve. The author contends that historical power relations, along with differing cultural beliefs and practices can lead to mistrust and misunderstanding between families and social service providers. Chang asserts that institutions must change the way they work with children and families. She suggests that organizations allow community members more input and control, make efforts to hire staff that reflect the diversity of the community at all levels of operation, improve staff training to enhance their capacity to work with diverse people in the community, and modify ineffective or harmful policies and practices.
Comer, James P. (1987). New Haven's school-community collaboration. Educational Leadership, 44(6), 13-16.
Comer promotes school-community collaboration as a means of developing the high level of psychosocial and academic development necessary for students survival in the complex society in which we live. The author maintains that relationships between teachers, students, among staff, and community members are all important aspects of student education. In fact, Comer asserts that teaching and learning require collaboration. Comer outlines the effects of bureaucratic organizational structures in schools and communities, and points out that these bureaucratic set up of building and community structures does not allow for flexibility and coordination in responding to diversity. Comer states that factors in communities and schools elements place children at risk, and outlines the following three changes as necessary for improving learning for students "at-risk":
Comer also indicates the importance of preservice training to prepare educators to address developmental issues of students' education and work with psychologists, social workers, and community representatives. This collaboration can help students identify education as something which is valued in school and in the community. The article describes how these ideals are applied in Comer's New Haven school-community collaboration.
For more information, contact the Comer Project, Child Study Center, 230 South Frontage Rd., Box 3333, New Haven, CT 06510, 203-785-5759.
Dryfoos, J.G. (1994). Full-service schools: A revolution in health and social services for children, youth, and families. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
This book addresses the need for schools to employ the resources of families, communities, and social service agencies in meeting the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of students. Chapter 1 presents the challenges and rationale for creating full-service schools. Chapter 2 discusses the historical antecedents to today's full-service schools. Chapters 3-5 highlight existing school-based service programs. Chapter 6 focuses on the evaluation of school-based service programs. Chapter 7 discusses organizational and service delivery issues. Chapter 8 explores funding issues. Chapter 9 is a call to action for educators and community members. The book closes with three appendices: Appendix A provides information about twelve states that are supporting school-based services, Appendix B provides readers with a list of federal sources for funding school-based services, and Appendix C is a glossary of acronyms.
Epstein, J.L. (1988). How do we improve programs for parent involvement? Educational Horizons, 66(2), 58-62.
Epstein outlines the research that shows children do better in school when parents continually support and encourage their school activities. She identifies five main types of parent involvement: Basic obligations of parents, obligations of schools, parent involvement in school activities, in-home activities, and advocacy. The article includes 16 ways to involve parents.
Kilbourne, L., Decker, L. E., & Romney, V. A. (1994). Rebuilding the partnership for public education. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia, Curry School of Education, Mid-Atlantic Center for Community Education.
This book deals with the failure in the traditional family- community-school partnership. The authors describe new practices and programs that are being used in school districts across the country to rebuild partnerships. Among the programs featured are BIG-Ed Council of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce (business/industry/government/education coalition); Greater Milwaukee Education Trust; PENCIL Foundation (Public Education: Nashville Citizens Involved in Education); Sponsors of Quality Education (Peoria Heights, IL)ža parent, student, community, business, and education partnership; Lehigh Valley 2000: A Business Education Partnership (PA); Youth Futures Authority (Savannah, GA)žsponsored by New Futures Initiative of Annie E. Casey Foundation; Valley Alliance for Education (VA); McLean County Community Compact, an Illinois collaborative whose mission is to strengthen the transition of youth from the world of education to the world of work; and LEARN, the Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now.
McLaughlin, M.W., Irby, M.A., & Langman, J. (1994). Urban sanctuaries: Neighborhood organizations in the lives and futures of inner-city youth. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
This book examines neighborhood organizations as sources of hope and support in the lives of inner-city youth. The authors explore successful neighborhood organizations and the ways in which they are created and maintained. Chapter One contrasts the grim outlook of troubled inner-city youth with those youth who have a sense of hope for the future due to their involvement in neighborhood organizations. Chapter Two feature six youth who describe how neighborhood organizations have positively impacted their lives. Chapters Three, Four, and Five focus on the leaders of neighborhood organizations - what drives them and why they are successful. Chapters Six and Seven concentrate on the staff members of these local organizations who are responsible for sustaining them. Chapter Eight discusses the management of volunteer resources. Chapters Nine and Ten explore the ways in which leaders negotiate the external environments of three cities with differing economic, social, and political realities. Chapter Eleven concludes the book, again emphasizing the need to foster hope for inner-city youth and to create organizations that support them.
Melaville, A.I., & Blank, M.J. (1993). Together we can: A guide for crafting a profamily system of education and human services. U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
Together We Can describes the creation of the profamily system of education and human services (designed to help new and existing collaboratives enhance their capacity to change the system) and the five-stage collaborative process with which to build it. Together We Can is designed to be a practical tool to assist local communities in the difficult process of creating a more responsive education and human service delivery system. Melaville et al. advocate for an approach based on collaboration. The authors argue that "together we can" marshal the expertise and political will necessary to ensure that children and families receive the services they need.
The guidebook is written in three parts. The first section outlines a vision for change. It argues that an interlocking set of integrated education and human services is essential for learning to occur. Part II presents the reader with a five-stage collaborative process, highlighting the "milestones" and "landmines" at each stage of the process. Vignettes and case studies are implemented to describe the experiences of study group members and local initiatives. The final part profiles four collaboratives with initiatives to integrate and link services.
Melaville, A.I., & Blank, M.J. (1991). What it takes: Structuring interagency partnerships to connect children and families with comprehensive services. Washington, DC: Education and Human Services Consortium.
This is the second publication in a series published by the Education and Human Services Consortium, a loose-knit coalition of national organizations concerned with interagency efforts to connect children and families with comprehensive services. This monograph looks at why local schools, health and welfare agencies, youth services agencies, community-based organizations, and others must join forces on behalf of children and families, and offers guidance based on emerging experience about how they can move forward together. Part one defines the kind of prevention, treatment, and support services that children and families need to succeed and looks at why the current system so often fails them. It describes components of high-quality, comprehensive services and the interagency partnerships required to deliver them. Five factors are identified that impact on the success of local efforts to launch successful collaboration. Part two describes various interagency initiatives to illustrate how these five factors affect local efforts. Part three provides tools for policymakers, administrators, and practitioners to use in their dialogue and decisionmaking about interagency partnerships.
Moll, Luis C. (April, 1990). Community-mediated instruction: A qualitative approach. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston, MA.
This article explores the "funds of knowledge" concept originated by Carlos Velez-Ibanez. The "funds of knowledge" concept characterizes the household as a social structure with resources that allow it to sustain itself. Moll and other researchers studied the many different resources that households possess and determined that the skills and capacities cultivated in the home could serve as useful resources in improving students' classroom instruction and learning. Researchers believed that community members could bring information and experiences that would enhance the knowledge that students acquired from reading and research and add a experiential element to students' learning. Moll and his colleagues envisioned the creation of networks of knowledge which could be exchanged between households and schools. In this article, Moll presents an example of classroom in which funds of knowledge are an integral aspect of instruction.
The article presents the experiences of Ina A., a sixth grade teacher in Tucson, Arizona, who with input from her students, designs a unit on construction. The teacher invited a construction worker from the community come in and speak with students. Students supplemented the construction worker's visits with library research and writings about their findings. Over the semester 20 people visited Ina A.'s classroom to share their "funds of knowledge." Students, teachers, and community members benefitted from this approach and gained valuable information. They learned about the use of mathematics in everyday life. Students saw people within their social circumstances and obtained a greater understanding of the different capacities that people possess. Moll's article demonstrates that teachers gain support and vital resources for instruction by perceiving the community as a source of knowledge, and community members themselves may feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence in their ability to act as a resource to teachers and students.
National Commission on Children. (1993). Next steps for children and families: Strengthening and supporting families. Washington, DC: Author.
In 1990, the bipartisan National Commission on Children was established by the President and Congress to "serve as a forum on behalf of the children of the Nation." This booklet is one of the implementation guides developed as a result of the working group discussions of this 34-member coalition to offer practical advice to policymakers, program directors, community activists, corporate leaders, and private citizens. The booklet is organized accordingly to five key recommendations and outlines ways for individuals, communities, businesses, and government to strengthen and support families.
Perry, Theresa. (1993). How racial and ethnic family and community characteristics affect children's achievement: The African-American experience. (Research and Development Report No. 3) (pp. 1-3). Baltimore, MD: Center on Families, Communities, Schools & Children's Learning.
Perry explores the social factors that affect African-American children's success in school. The author uses Boikin and Tom's notion of the "triple quandary" to discuss the challenges that African-American children face in their simultaneous roles as members of mainstream society, as members of a racial minority group, and their role within Black culture. Perry maintains that parents, communities, and schools can be instrumental in helping African-American children negotiate their multiple roles in American society to succeed both academically and socially.
Siu, Sau-Fong. (1992). Toward an understanding of Chinese-American educational achievement: How racial and ethnic family and community characteristics affect children's educational achievement. (Research and Development Report No. 2) (pp. 5-7). Baltimore, MD: Center on Families, Communities, Schools & Children's Learning.
In this article, Siu examines Chinese-American culture as it relates to education. According to the author, many Chinese- American parents emphasize the value of educational achievement over other forms of achievement. Siu states that, in general, compared to American parents Chinese-American parents often maintain more control over family members, are more protective of their children, emphasize obedience to parents more, provide more positive feedback when teaching young children, value grades over cognitive achievement, maintain higher expectations of children, have greater belief in effort, as opposed to innate ability, and more realistically evaluate a child's academic and personal characteristics. The author emphasizes that although these characteristics are not absolute for all Chinese-American families it is important to realize some of the cultural factors that affect children's perceptions and actions in relation to education and achievement.
U.S. Department of Education. (1994, September). Strong families, strong schools: Building community partnerships for learning. Washington, DC: Author.
This monograph presents research-based recommendations to educators, parents, community members, and others involved in education on strengthening family involvement and school-family partnerships. It also examines how state and federal government can effectively support efforts to bring schools, communities, businesses, and other service agencies together. Effective programs in linking social services, developing parent leadership, continuing summer learning, enlisting community volunteers, and providing mentors are described. Strategies for creating "family-friendly" policies in businesses and communities are presented.
Wang, M.C., & Gordon, E.W. (Eds.). (1994). Educational resilience in inner-city America: Challenges and prospects. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
This book explores the concept of resiliency and the capacity of educational and social organizations to foster resiliency in students. The publication is organized in three sections. The first section, "Understanding Resilience," features chapters that explore the concept of resilience as it relates to developmental psychology and inner city environments. The section concludes with a critical analysis of some prevailing assumptions associated with resilience. The second section of this publication, "Research on Resilience: Conceptual and Methodological Considerations," focuses on conceptual and methodological considerations including external validity measures of resilience at the individual, family, and city level; risks and resilience in the development of African-American adolescents; and the implications of resiliency research for special education. The concluding section, "Fostering Educational Resilience" joins research and practice to provide readers with suggestions for creating educational environments that foster resiliency.
Wehlage, Gary G. (1993). Social capital and the rebuilding of communities. (Issues in Restructuring Schools, Report No. 5) (pp. 3-5). Madison, WI: Center On Organization and Restructuring of Schools.
Wehlage begins this article by introducing the reader to the concept of social capital. The author defines social capital as "...organizational relationships among people that facilitate collective action." (Wehlage, pg. 3). Wehlage advocates the development of social capital within the family and within the larger community as a means of providing children and youth with connections to adults and adult values. One change that would improve the use of existing social capital, Wehlage asserts, might occur in the nature of social service delivery. Social service organizations typically serve individuals with specified, categorical problems. The author identifies organization building among schools and community organizations and institutions as a key factor in creating and sustaining social capital, but concludes the article by emphasizing the need for public policy which facilitates the creation and use of social capital.
Wehlage, G.G., Rutter, R.A., Smith, G.A., Lesko, N., & Fernandez, R.R. (1989). Reducing the risk: Schools as communities of support. Philadelphia, PA: Falmer Press.
Drawing on a study of 14 secondary schools and their efforts to prevent students from dropping out, this book seeks to help schools and communities build programs that reduce risk of educational failure. This book provides descriptions of exemplary dropout prevention programs and a theoretical framework for understanding at-risk students and their schools, in an effort to influence state and local policymakers to develop programs and policies responsive to the needs of at-risk youth. Descriptions of school programs are enhanced by evaluative data on key factors of successful programs and their impact.
The information listed above is excerpted from a companion resource booklet for NCREL's Urban Audio Journal (Vol. 1, No. 1), Shared Responsibility - Changed Lives: School-Linked and Community-Based Integrated Services (1995, forthcoming), an audiocassette under development by NCREL's Urban Education Program.