University Partnerships for Community and School System Development: Volume 5

Cover of University Partnerships for Community and School System Development
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Table of contents

(25 chapters)
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Foreword

Pages xi-xiii
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Part I: Concepts and Principles

Abstract

The chapters in this book focus on how university-school-community (USC) partnerships are implemented in colleges, universities, school systems, and community organizations around the world. The purpose of these multi-disciplinary programs is to reform teaching and learning experiences for all participants. Using case studies and other empirical research, this volume presents a broad and in-depth overview on a variety of USC partnerships to assist educators in the process of transforming organizations using innovative approaches to improve community and school system development. This chapter will provide an overview to this volume and establish a framework for better understanding the nature of university partnerships to enhance community and school system development.

Abstract

An ever-increasing emphasis is being placed on the concept of cross-institutional educational initiatives. Among these are university–school partnerships, seen as possessing immense multidimensional potential. The model of university–school partnership espouses distinctive advantages: it promotes close collaboration on an array of pedagogical elements, a manifold of opportunities for inter-professional learning, a unique course delivery, and the development of innovative curriculum materials. There is a consensus that effective teaching calls for more than possession of craft skills and knowledge, but should go beyond traditional pedagogical bounds, in which the innovation in new educational models is embedded in a nexus of relationships involving close multi-faceted, cross-institutional collaborations, incorporating elements of informal education. The proposed chapter aims to address the theoretical discourse and practical application of such partnerships, guided by the conviction that an effective partnership constructs new enabling structures that span the boundaries of school/university, placing an increased focus on learning for all stakeholders. It aims to supplement the existing theoretical discourse by presenting an implemented cross-institutional partnership as a case-study – a university class of intercultural competence – undertaken in cooperation among the Institute of European Studies, Jagiellonian University, and High School No. 8 in Kraków. The case study aims to illustrate how a cross-institutional partnership contributed to the development and implementation of innovative and active teaching methods, placing a particular emphasis on elements of informal education. Through a variety of methods, such as outgoing seminars, peer-mediation, and city games, the outlined partnership model serves as an effective example of innovative practices in higher education.

Part II: Successful Practices

Abstract

This chapter highlights a College of Education’s revision of required undergraduate courses into service-based initiatives engaging students with their local communities to enact change. These courses include a 20-hour field experience component, where faculty provide education majors with hands-on experiences illustrating the importance of reciprocal community–university partnerships, linking theory and practice, and demonstrating the ways in which students can become engaged citizens. This chapter focuses on the development of one such partnership with a secondary school. In particular, the author discusses two course-specific projects: a mentoring program for students labeled as “at-risk” and a multicultural learning community where future educators taught students in In-School-Suspension (ISS). Both illustrate the importance of utilizing critical multicultural education (CME) and intersectionality as a combined framework for teacher education partnerships, but also for projects in other majors, disciplines, and colleges. This year-long qualitative case study shows that such a foundation can provide a space for all participants to understand cultures other than their own, participate in knowledge construction, and understand their roles and responsibilities in contributing to socially just environments. This is not a one-size-fits all approach to community–university partnership development, but such studies can highlight the challenges and successes faced along the journey.

Abstract

This chapter discusses collaboration between a UK university and an Ethiopian College of Teacher Education in supporting the introduction of pre-primary schooling into the Government schools of a large Ethiopian town. The project recognised the limited effectiveness of Minority World training programmes imposed upon a Majority World context, so it was designed in full collaboration with the local community’s educators and closely linked to indigenous practices and knowledge about schooling systems and child-rearing.

The UK university ‘expert’ deliberately did not ‘manage’ or ‘control’ the Project Team of Ethiopian teachers and teacher educators but supported them in designing and implementing a programme of professional development for local pre-primary teachers, based upon a cycle of observations, workshops, feedback visits to participants’ settings and formative evaluation to shape new initiatives.

The chapter discusses the inevitable challenges and difficulties encountered, resulting from different educational perspectives, from very limited resourcing and from gender and status issues within the Team. The project, now in its second year, is having impacts upon local pre-primary schooling, and confirms the empowering effect of a collaborative and sustainable model of Minority World support for Majority World educational initiatives.

Abstract

This chapter addresses the outcomes of a six-year school–university partnership between a public liberal arts college and a large urban school district. It explores ways that partnerships can support teachers and communities to confront assumptions and take ownership of learning. This paper traces the trajectory of teachers and professors engaged in a longitudinal ongoing professional development initiative focused on “Meeting the Needs of Urban Learners” to identify practices that supported the collaboration, and the outcomes of the school–university partnership.

Abstract

Partnerships between universities and secondary schools are highly valued for a range of pedagogical, transition and outreach benefits to students, teachers and more broadly, society. Teachers in schools provide a rich insight into how university teaching staff can better engage students and provide them with deeper learning experiences. Universities can provide on-campus student incursions for learning activities, work experience opportunities, research projects with academics and lectures by specialist researchers. This chapter describes the range of benefits arising from a partnership, established in 2009, between the John Monash Science School (JMSS) and Monash University, co-located in outer suburban of Melbourne, Australia. The JMSS–Monash partnership has generated a number of innovative and dynamic educational programmes, which have positively impacted the learning and engagement of students across geographic divides. The partnership is rich, and has broadened and deepened as the partners have learned more about each other’s capacities, and envisioned what is possible in an educational landscape bereft of innovation and challenge to existing norms. By thinking creatively and acting bravely, the partners have shone a light on a brighter future in science for Australian students.

Abstract

This chapter describes and analyzes a project offering university-based courses to local people with mental health problems. Converge is a partnership between York St John University and the National Health Service (NHS) that is built on a convergence of interests of the two organizations: real world experience for university students and good quality, non-stigmatizing courses for people with mental health problems. Three key principles of the project will be considered: to work with participants as students and to frame the provision as education, not therapy; to involve university students in the delivery of the courses and in the support of participants; and to work closely with the university and mental health providers in order to offer a resource that supports social integration and recovery.

It will be proposed that this partnership provides the conditions for the creation of a “healing campus”: an attempt to heal the “fracture” between people who experience mental health problems and their communities that began with their disappearance into large mental hospitals in the 18th and 19th centuries. The healing that this chapter examines is not merely of people who identify as having mental health problems but of a social and cultural fracture revealed in the stigma and shame that still surrounds mental ill health.

Abstract

This chapter describes a partnership model in which a university in the United States facilitated cultural exchanges between elementary students in US schools with students in international schools in Central and South America. Through the partnerships, faculty members at the university were able to facilitate opportunities for elementary students to communicate and share experiences through the use of virtual field trips (VFTs) and gardening projects. These exchanges were achieved through the use of multiple Web 2.0 tools that allowed interaction between students. They led to the engagement of students both locally and globally by providing them with a dynamic environment, in which they could explore, discover, experiment, and learn. Descriptions of the challenges faced, lessons learned, and recommendations for educators are also included.

Abstract

Why do K-12 schools not perform better in educating English Language Learners (ELLs)? Part of the problem lies with higher education: We continue to produce pre-service teachers who are not prepared for today’s multilingual student population and, more importantly, most currently practicing teachers lack any such preparation.

Abstract

Research studies have documented the proliferation of partnerships between universities and school districts in the Unites States. University faculty members in the School of Education at a small regional campus located in the Midwest have partnered with one of the largest school districts in its service area to provide professional development (PD) to school staff on building Cultural Proficiency and providing Culturally Responsive Instruction. To date nearly 200 teachers, counselors, and administrators have attended PD workshops designed collaboratively with targeted school and district personnel and facilitated by university faculty. This chapter will chronicle the development of this partnership including PD topics, feedback from participants, and the future needs of the school district, pre-service and in-service teachers, and School of Education faculty.

Abstract

A recent President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report predicts a shortfall of 1 million college graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields in the United States over the next several years (2012). Recommendations to address this include diversifying the STEM workforce, which is plagued by a lack of gender diversity (Hill, Corbett, & St. Rose, 2010). University–School partnerships are crucial in developing a pipeline that moves interested primary and secondary students (aged 5-18) into majoring and eventually working in STEM fields. The lower involvement of women in STEM fields is multi-factorial and affects all communities, including Abilene, Texas. Abilene Independent School District’s STEM high school, the Academy for Technology, Engineering, and Science (ATEMS) consistently has a female student population at or below 35%. A local university, Abilene Christian University (ACU), has struggled to increase female undergraduate students in STEM fields. Creating a University–School partnership between ACU and ATEMS aided in building a STEM pipeline for girls in the Abilene community. In this chapter, we describe this collaboration between ACU and ATEMS and highlight the key features that led to success of the collaboration.

Abstract

This chapter will take a case study approach to partnership in Higher Education (HE), highlighting good practice and showcasing FOCUS West as a model of innovative collaboration. FOCUS West is a government-funded, regional access organisation in the west of Scotland (http://www.focuswest.org.uk). The region comprises roughly 5,000 square miles with a population of around 2.2 million. Delivered by a partnership of the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and the West of Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) it works with schools and local education authorities to increase progression to HE from the 37 lowest progression secondary schools in the area. It delivers a programme of guidance and support to pupils from S3 to S6 (14–18 year olds), targeting activity to those young people who have potential to achieve HE entry. FOCUS West, as a partnership organisation, addresses vital issues of social mobility in Scotland, where progression to university and all of the attendant opportunities, remains stubbornly linked to socio-economic circumstances.

Abstract

The contribution explores the methodology, strategies and activities of inter-institutional partnership among university, school, territory initiated by the Degree Courses in Primary Education Sciences of the University of L’Aquila. It illustrates the experiences of an active partnership undertaken at the five-year, single-cycle Degree Course after the reform introduced in Italy by the law 249 of September 2010 aimed at encouraging local development in a national and international perspective (Bologna Process, 1999). These activities focus on the need to strengthen the cultural and professional profile of future teachers through curricular and extracurricular activities involving the use of cultural heritage goods, tangible and intangible, of the territory. The aim is to renew methodological approaches to ‘science teaching’ through the use of appropriate technologies that make it possible to realize the process of teaching-learning adequate to provide the multi-lettered of the XXI Century with sets of skills and knowledge more and more updated. The contribution focuses, in particular, on the project titled ‘Museum in … click! – Cognitive processes and new technologies applied to archaeological heritage in museums for cultural fruition qualitatively appreciable’. This project involved University, Superintendence of Archaeological Heritage (SAH) of Abruzzo and local schools in a partnership where teachers and students from schools of the territory were busy in direct training to build educational proposals and multimedia products for their peers to improve the quality of use of cultural goods involved. The project, funded by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism – Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo (MIBACT), provides a good example of practices within a partnership model that feeds a teaching system where the different skills of the stakeholders interact inside a common cultural area pursuing the same goals.

Abstract

The serendipitous beginning and organic evolvement of the Dragon Research Collaborative (DRC) allowed us the freedom to approach the learning environment differently than we had in prior, more traditional projects or courses. We embrace that freedom in the project’s structure. For us, dragons are the catalyst for construction of an educational environment that encompasses science, social science, the humanities, and the fine arts, but not solely within a school context. The partners that have joined with us, museums, businesses, and other higher education staff and faculty, are integral to establishing the real-world authenticity of the DRC. We share here the strategies and tools we have found useful in creating synergistic, multidisciplinary learning opportunities. The DRC model’s strength lies in several characteristics: a collaborative, caring environment, knowledge construction that is student-driven, and a robust partner network.

Abstract

School-university partnerships are enhanced by synergistic relationships. Positive outcomes increase when partners work across disciplines, focus on cultural competencies, and expand from local to global engagement. This chapter offers an overview of the Bradley Professional Development Schools (PDS) Partnership, a description of the Comprehensive Integrated Services Model, and a summary of current thinking about synergy and cultural competencies in relation to school–university partnerships. Through descriptions of various multidisciplinary PDS projects and partnerships, the chapter explores concepts such as emergent realities, cross-cultural, intercultural or global competencies, empowering learning culture, and global awareness, demonstrating how an comprehensive integrated services model that is holistic in nature sustains school–university partnerships in multiple and creative ways across local and global environments.

Author Index

Pages 311-319
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Subject Index

Pages 321-326
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Cover of University Partnerships for Community and School System Development
DOI
10.1108/S2055-364120155
Publication date
2015-11-20
Book series
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78560-133-0
eISBN
978-1-78560-132-3
Book series ISSN
2055-3641