FIPSE LSDL Modules

 

Engaging a Community Organization PLE: Module 4

Engaging a Community Organization PLE

Powerful Learning Experience #2    Engaging a Community Organization

Printable Version: Teacher Notes

Overview
The learning walk activity had students go out and explore the community surrounding the school. In this activity students will identify an agency, group, or organization that has an interest in K-12 schools.

Activity #1
Out of Class

Pre-Reading

Shields, C. M., & Seltzer, P. A. (1997). Complexities and paradoxes of community: Toward a more useful conceptualization of community. Educational Administration Quarterly, 33, 413 – 439.

Activity #2
In Class

Teaching Notes

Pre-Reading Debrief
Pair-Share – In groups of two, students will discuss the readings. One student will speak about their ideas about the article while the other listens carefully (3-5 min.). Then they will reverse roles (3-5 min.). Finally, there is a five-minute open discussion between the two students.

The professor would then allow each group or certain groups willing to share, to discuss what they heard and the importance of school-community relations.  

Professor’s description of field experience

Professor’s description of product

How the product will be graded

Activity #3
Out of Class
Field Experience

This task will require students to do the following:

  • Read relevant literature on school community relations
  • Identify an organization, gather relevant information on the organization,
  • Speak to a key individual in the organization
  • Develop a product that demonstrates community engagement

 

In-class example A
In order to facilitate an opening discussion regarding school-community engagement, the instructor can show the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr97ZiJ2vck

In-class example B
To deepen the discussion, the instructor can draw the words external community on the board. Then the instructor would ask what entities make up this “external community”. As students give their ideas, the instructor writes them on the board. This is a concept mapping activity. After all of the ideas are listed, the instructor would write “external community” on the in a circle. The instructor would then use the ideas from the brainstorming to connect concepts (see diagram below).

 

In-class example C
For additional information on concept mapping, the instructor could show the following video:
http://library.usu.edu/instruct/tutorials/cm/CMinstruction2.htm

Activity #3
Out of Class

Field Experience
This task will require students to do the following:

  • Identify an organization in the community (within reasonable distance from the school)
  • Gather relevant information on the organization (mission, objectives, purpose, staff, history)
  • Speak to a key stakeholder in the organization (founder, CEO, president, etc.)
  • Develop a product that demonstrates community engagement – work with the organization to develop a real or mock product (MOU, fund raiser, program at the school, etc.)

 

Guidelines/Homework:
Reviewing Relevant Literature – Candidates will locate and acquire relevant literature on school community relations. This could include books, articles, etc.
Community Organization Connection – Learners will identify and visit a community organization with the purpose of making a meaningful connection with a key stakeholder. Questions for Key Stakeholder – Students will develop a list of five or more pre-approved questions around school-community engagement.

Written Reflection
Students will provide a written reflection of their entire experience (minimum 5 pages). This paper would include (but it not limited to the following):

  • Analysis of the relevant research literature.
  • Examination of the barriers to effective school-community engagement.
  • Identification of the benefits to forging community-based relationships and collaboration.
  • Explanation of the implications for K-12 schools.
  • Explicit reference to and explanation of the final product.

Activity #4
In Class

Teaching Notes
Product – the product of the student’s choosing should be placed in a presentation format that highlights the following:

  • What lessons were learned through this process?
  • Why is community engagement so important for schools?
  • What surprised you most about this project?
  • How will this project influence your actions as a school leader?

 

Mini-Conference – This should take place in an area large enough to hold the entire class, visitors, and have enough room for people to set up small stations to display their work. Students will organize a small station that would include the following:

  • An outline of the project to hand out to visitors.
  • Brochures or handouts from the community organization.
  • A poster from the project or some kind of graphic that explains their learning process during the course of the project.
  • Optional: A member of the community organization there in-person.

This activity could have food and beverages, but would allow students to display their work for the community, university, or other interested parties. People would stop by to hear about each project and ask questions. This event could also have special guest from the university (e.g., deans, chairs, etc.) and/or community leaders (K-12 school officials, community activists/organizers, etc.).

 

Suggested Evaluation Rubric

Evaluation/Grading Criteria
Reflection Paper and final product

Points

Introduction (Review of School-Community Relations Research)

10

Presentation of Context (Describe the Community – history, demographics, etc.)

10

Organizational Setting Description (Describe the organization)

10

Interview with Key Stakeholder (Comment on the tone and content of the discussion)

10

Analysis (Identification of successes and barriers to effective school-community engagement based on interview)

15

Quality of final product (Topic, detail, depth of thought)

15

Implications for K-12 education (Elaborate on practical lessons for K-12 schools based on the entire project)

15

Quality of written expression (Format, Grammar, APA-style citations)

15

Final Score

100

 

Resources

Articles:
Yosso, T. J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of
community cultural wealth. Race, Ethnicity, and Education, 8(2), 69-91.
This article makes the case for alternative forms of capital and promotes the notion of community cultural wealth.

Books:
Bartee, R. D., & Brown , M. C . (2007). School matters: Why African American students need multiple forms of capital. New York: Peter Lang.  
This book explores commonplace ideas of capital in schools, yet also expands the discussion to advocate multiple forms of capital for the benefit of African American students and diverse communities.

Book Chapters:
Beachum, F. D., McCray, C. R., & Obiakor, F. E. (2007). Community uplift theory for positive change of African Americans in urban schools. In M. C. Brown & R. D. Bartee (Eds.). Still not equal: Expanding educational opportunity in society (pp. 269-278). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
This chapter promotes a notion called Community Uplift Theory, which suggests that individual efforts must be combined with collective efforts to enhance educational environments in K-12 schools.

Tillman, L. C. (2009). Facilitating African American parental involvement in urban schools: Opportunities for school leadership.  In L. Foster & L. C. Tillman (Eds). African American perspectives on leadership in schools: Building a culture of empowerment. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education. 
This chapter addresses parental involvement in urban schools and discusses the ways in which educational leaders can support families.

Family and Community Involvement

PLE#3: Engaging a Community Organization

(Teaching Notes)

Element Description/Instructions Instructor Notes
Purpose In this activity students will identify an agency, group, or organization that has an interest in K-12 schools. While this PLE includes the identification of an agency, group, or organization in the community, it may or may not have an explicit interest in K-12 schools.
Activity #1
Out of Class
Pre-Reading
Shields, C. M., & Seltzer, P. A. (1997). Complexities and paradoxes of community: Toward a more useful conceptualization of community. Educational Administration Quarterly, 33, 413 – 439.  Although this is an older reading, it provides an effective way to have a broader discussion of community.
Activity #2
In Class
Pre-Reading Debrief 

Pair-Share – In groups of two, students will discuss the readings. One student will speak about their ideas about the article while the other listens carefully (3-5 min.). Then they will reverse roles (3-5 min.). Finally, there is a five-minute open discussion between the two students.

The professor would then allow each group or certain groups willing to share, to discuss what they heard and the importance of school-community relations.  
Professor’s description of field experience
Professor’s description of product
How the product will be graded

The instructor should time the students with regard to time limits. The instructor should also walk around to monitor the conversations and to help facilitate the sharing-listening process.

At this point, the instructor could list some of these ideas on the board.

The instructor could then explain these assignments and answer any questions.

Activity #3
Field Experience
Out of Class
  • Read relevant literature on school community relations
  • Identify an organization, gather relevant information on the organization
  • Speak to a key individual in the organization
  • Develop a product that demonstrates community engagement
The product mentioned here is up to the discretion and creativity of the student. It can also be the result of the student and community organization partner working collaboratively.

In-Class Example A

In-Class Example B

In-Class Example C

School Community Engagement Video

Concept Map Development

Concept Map Additional Information

The instructor can facilitate a large group discussion of the video which includes broad discussion questions such as:
How can schools better interact with community organizations?
How do you think a family should support children’s educational success?
What does an effective school-community partnership look like?

Written Reflection

Community Organization Field Experience

Out of Class

  • Identify an organization in the community
  • Gather relevant information on the organization
  • Speak to a key stakeholder in the organization
  • Develop a product that demonstrates community engagement – work with the organization to develop a real or mock product (MOU, fund raiser, program at the school, etc.)
  • Students will provide a written reflection of their entire experience (minimum 5 pages).
 

Presentation

or

Mini-conference

The presentation should address the following:

  • What lessons were learned through this process?
  • Why is community engagement so important for schools?
  • What surprised you most about this project?
  • How will this project influence your actions as a school leader?

This should take place in an area large enough to hold the entire class, visitors, and have enough room for people to set up small stations to display their work.

The format could be a Power Point Presentation, Prezi, etc.
In addition, students could provide background information and data about the organization.
Students could also provide relevant research on school-community engagement as well as other surprising, interesting, or meaning-making experiences.

The Mini-Conference actually becomes an event where other classes, university officials, school leaders, and other stakeholders can participate.