Schools Can't Do It Alone Essay

1963 words - 8 pages

"Schools can't do it alone" and are increasingly looking to communities to help build capacity and improve educational outcomes. How can community engagement make a difference to student outcomes?The quote "schools can't do it alone" (Bottrell & Goodwin, 2011, pg. 1) recognises the fact that education is dependent upon the contributions of parents, families and communities including; cultural communities, services and other institutions such as other schools and universities. Although this quote recognises that schools can not be independent from communities and family support, schools are seen as the first place to address issues such as inequality (Bottrell & Goodwin, 2011). ...view middle of the document...

However for the implementation of community engagement to be effective on improving student outcomes the community engagement needs to have a purposeful connection between schools based learning and real world learning (Deed & Pridham, 2012). Not only is it applied learning and community partnerships that make a promising framework for enhancing student engagement but also by developing strong engagement between students, teachers, parents and carers, support staff, community, industry and business groups (Deed & Pridham, 2012). The implementation of community engagement requires two dimensions of collaboration these include; The Horizontal dimension which draws on organisational resources for students to develop skills and have influence in their community and or school (Bottrell & Goodwin, 2011). Examples of horizontal collaboration include; health services and social services such as local council, art groups and community groups (Bottrell & Goodwin, 2011). The second dimension is the Vertical dimension. This dimension concentrates on creating capacity and communication between services to ensure that students who need support can be accessed (Bottrell & Goodwin, 2011). The horizontal dimension is very important for applied learning in schools and must make real world purpose, significance and relevance to the students for student outcomes to improve.Parent and community involvement has a significant influence over student achievement if implemented successfully. Research from Australia and overseas have found that students achieve better outcomes from their education when schools, families and communities work together to support student learning (Bottrell & Goodwin, 2011). One of the major improvements with the collaboration and cooperation with communities and parents is the increased social capital. Social capital is improved student active citizenship, understanding interrelated roles of communities and after school and in school activities and engagement(Australian Council for educational research, 2008). This encourages the students to feel more apart of the community and as well as a sense of identity. The improved self efficacy has lead the following student outcome benefits; Increased self esteem, engagement in learning, participation in more challenging subjects and also improved literacy and numeracy outcomes, attendance, completion of homework, behaviour at home and school connection to school and learning school completion rates (Department of education, employment and workplace relations, 2013). The way in which these benefits are achieved are firstly through parental assistance at home with homework but also through community based learning where students learn about their local community environment, businesses and or services through their local residence and organisations (Epstien, 2001). Also working with students and teachers in the community enable valuable experiences and opportunities for...

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