Community Partnership the Notion That Term Paper

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, 1996):

To train those college students who aim to join the teaching profession;

To provide the teachers with a wide spectrum and grounds for exploration so that they can apply their knowledge and ability in a way that boosts the overall educational standards of the institution and the students;

To design a schedule and academic profile that aims to purely heighten the academic and social growth of the students; and to support and carry out studies that will in eventuality help escalate and improve the educational standards at not only the school level but also the college and university levels.

Harkavy (1998) believes that the partnership between the school, community and the university is far more complex and inter-dependent that believed by the masses. In his study he brings forth new theories and explanation of his statement with the help of annals and current studies and examples. He feels that the academic improvements and restructuring are inter-connected and highlight dependent on the overall development and modernization of the society or district. He feels that not only universities but various non-profit and for-profit organizations have a major role to play in the development and modernization of the district, and hence, as a result, in the academic revolution.

3. Records of community partnerships programs;

Before looking at the history of community partnerships and assessing its success it is vital to note how this phenomenon actually began. Doherty (2000) gives a historical description of community partnership programs. He writes:

During the 1920s and 1930s, family professionals set about the task of bringing expert knowledge about children and families to the public through government-supported publications and the proliferation of parent education programs and study commissions. Over the remainder of the twentieth century, the scholarly field of family science emerged, along with the applied professions of parent education, family life education, and marriage and family therapy. Like other disciplined professions created in that century, ours embraced a vision of making the world better through the work of University-trained professional experts who would generate new knowledge and pass it on to families in the community. Professional training in the twentieth century, first in medicine and then in law and the emerging modem professions, moved away from community-based apprenticeships offered to local citizens, to recruiting and credentialing individuals who had no necessary tie to, or endorsement by, a local community. For the first time, professional expertise was established by large institutions specializing in abstract, universal knowledge, not local, contextualized knowledge (Doherty 2000; pg, 319).

When looking at the history of the school-community and/or university partnerships, Harvaky (1998), in his study first notices them in the late stages of the 19th century when the University of Columbia and Chicago and the Johns Hopkins University, had incorporated into a linked and interlinked network of collaboration. All these universities jointly carried out studies and examinations that analyzed and modeled various community ventures in the urban districts to not only endorse academic endeavors but also community, humanitarian and labor beneficiary activities. The end of World War II was the beginning of a completely new phase of the partnership programs structure. Now, the community and school development was rated as the most important factor and element to work on. All the social and scientific efforts being made were more and more demarcated within the workings of the academic institutes and universities. After that, the phase shifted to a more profession and office-based training in schools, mainly during the 1960s and 70s where education mainly focused on training students so that they would have the ability to adapt, survive and thrive in the cut-throat business world. A good example to explain this change can be seen in the study done by Pitsch (1991) which clearly showed statistics that proved that till the end of the 1970s, the main aim of these partnerships and collaborative schemes was to give the teachers the opportunities to explore and expand their training and teaching skills but the remarkable turn of events that led to the industrial revolution and the population boost became the critical factors that highlighted the decreasing contribution of the universities and establishments in the primary and secondary academic spheres (Morse, 2001; Sommerfield, 1996).

Sommerfield (1996), in his study, does awesome analyses of the reason behind the low period that the school-community development partnership faced during the 1970s and he 1980s. He first highlights the rise in the crime rates and violence within certain communities that forced the policymakers and authoritarians to tighten the security around the college campuses and hence build new institutes in areas that are far from the societies. Secondly, the university adopted the curriculums that gave the students more opportunities to specialize in certain aspects of labor and work that divided and disintegrated the education inside and between the communities, isolating them furthermore. Thirdly, he says that the communication between the different faculties of different districts decreased tremendously and communication of faculties within districts decreased too as universities faculty members contacted the K-12 faculty members less and less. Fourth, the tradition of awarding accolades to professors-based n the academic and social contributions was initiated by the universities at the primary and secondary levels (Sommerfield, 1996).

Several national events highlighted the growth of school-university partnerships (Pitsch, 1991). In 1982, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching helped organize the country's first national conference of state school superintendents and college and university presidents. A second conference, one year later, marked the Carnegie Foundation's report on the upsurge of school, community, university partnerships (Pitsch, 1991). A published directory, listing more than 2,200 school-university partnerships of differing sizes and scopes, was noted by Sommerfield (1996). The proliferation of school, community, and university partnerships in the 1990s was largely a result of the recognized peril of universities if they did not become more responsive to their communities. Harkavy (1998) noted that universities are facing scrutiny now more than ever as public funds, from the federal government, foundations, and private sectors, become more tied to direct societal benefit, particularly in improving K-12 schooling and community development.

4. Disputes facing the concept of Partnership Programs

One of the major setbacks that the partnership programs face are the hesitancy pf the public and individual school systems to adopt these programs and/or come up with a clear cut structure and implementation program to help grow, maintain, and assess the best way for the establishment of partnership between the school, community and universities. Davies (1991) in his studies highlights the extremely weak implementation and execution strategies used the investors in certain school settings even though the theory of partnerships has been considered an accomplishment. Numerous other agendas and hindrances with the partnership and collaboration effort have been recognized in the study done by Riordan and Da Costa (1998). There are many reasons why and how collaboration and the partnership program might backfire but the main one that has come forth after careful analyses is that numerous institutions have adopted the concepts but the consequences of the implementation have been unconstructive mainly due to the uneven distribution of responsibilities between the various entities involved in the partnership programs leading to the monopoly of one or two of these entities (Riordan & Da Costa, 1998).

The power struggle or uneven distribution of responsibilities does leave certain entities in control of the end result leaving the others out of the loophole to an extant that it causes dissatisfaction and falling out. One of the job distribution lies in the researches that are carried out with various stages from the statement of the problem to methodology to the conclusions (Erickson & Christmas, 1996). The struggle occurs when one part of the structure like the universities asks the questions controlling the flow of the research and leaving the school faculty with very little power and at times this exact situation is reversed based upon the type of research. McCall, Green, Strauss, and Groark (1995) in their study highlighted the different angles that the partnerships can and are viewed by the various entities in the partnership. Weiss (1995), in his research concluded that the disparity in the achievement of a target can lead to suspicion and doubt between the various entities. Some of this aloof attitude might come from the haughty perception that the school administrators have of the university faculties where they come across too authoritative and make the school administrators skeptical of whether they know more about the school structures than those running the schools (McCall, 1990).

Ellickson (1994) in his study concludes that this disparity may be because at times the school administrators feel that the research being done is based more on personal motive than on the betterment of the educational setup. McCall et al. (1995), in his study also analyzes the aims and objectives behind conducting a study and agrees with the conclusion of the previous study and says that most researchers aim…[continue]

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