Warren, S. R., Noftle, J. T., Ganley, D. D., & Quintanar, A. P. (n.d.). Preparing Urban Teachers to Partner with Families and Communities, 21(1), 95–112.
Preparing Urban Teachers to Partner with Families and Communities is a study by Warren, Noftle, Ganley & Quintanar that examines how teachers prepare to teach based on their professional knowledge, dispositions and authentic relationships with students, their families and the community. (2011)
The discussion on family, the community and the teachers relationship with it, ties into my line of inquiry for creating a partnership with the school and community. The article addresses teachers and instructors of professional development. It is based on examination of teachers and their perceptions and interactions with their community. The study is grounded in the research which will “show that when schools, families, and community groups collaborate to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.” (Warren, Noftle, Ganley & Quintanar, 2011, p.96)
This research is valuable for my topic of inquiry because it regards the interaction of the school and the community. Although the research is conducted from the position of the teacher and my focus has been more from the point of view of the students, both recognize the benefits of a partnership between the school and its surrounding community. Likewise, another study found “goals for student academic success is best achieved through the cooperation and support of schools, families, and communities” (Willems & Gonzalez-DeHass, 2012, p.10). The study by Warren, Noftle, Ganley and Quintanar, shows how teacher and parent collaboration will encourage involvement that is beneficial to student achievement (2012). Research by Durand and Perez also supports parent collaboration, noting that it is “an important component of children’s school success.” (2013, p.49)
The theoretical framework was developed with the plan to educate and inform teachers and change their attitudes through a “course on school, family, and community partnerships” (Warren, Noftle, Ganley and Quintanar, 2013, p.97). The methods suggested by this work will help me to identify what is needed to guide teachers in working with parents and their own perceptions for building a community partnership.
In an effort to “prove the research hypothesis that a shift in professional attitudes will occur as a consequence of participating in the Family and Community Involvement course” (Warren, Noftle, Ganley and Quintanar, 2013, p.100) data was collected from 26 participating student teachers from two universities. The qualitative technique for collecting the data was having teachers rate their observations of how they thought the community functioned in schools where they taught. Data was collected twice; once on the first day and again on the last day. “Triangulation of data was accomplished through the use of three separate sources of data reflecting students’ perceptions of their experiences as family and community builders.” (Warren, Noftle, Ganley and Quintanar, 2013, p.101 – 102) Triangulation of data has been discussed several times in class discussion and is recognized as a source of validity to research analysis and interpretations.
The findings of the study helped to show participants “valuable resources in the community that they could connect to students and their families.” (Warren, Noftle, Ganley and Quintanar, 2013, p.104) In addition, the participants realized how their positionality could affect change in the schools relationship to the community. Finally, their participation had confirmed the research hypothesis by realizing a shift in their attitude as a consequence of their involvement.
The framework for my topic of inquiry is when the success and support realized by the students, their parents and the community it will strengthen bonds and open doors of opportunities for them all. Warren, Noftle, Ganley and Quintanar also state a similar result of “enhanced educational opportunities for children” (2013, p. 109) but do not elaborate. My goal for my research is currently planned to survey a wider collection of opinion and data.
In further study I would like to explore the connection between student achievement and school partnerships. The topic of inquiry I am pursuing only supposes the benefits of student achievement in this connection and causes me to question if I should be answering another question first. The study done by Warren, Noftle, Ganley and Quintanar was specific to result of teacher training. I plan to conduct an information session with the teachers but nothing more. I will have to give more consideration to the impact of teacher training or the lack of it as I proceed. My plan is to focus on the students and how they might be used to research ways to involve the community outside the school.
In view of the implications for humanizing, access, and equitable education research, the study was “centered around the belief that communities cannot be rebuilt by focusing on their needs, problems, and deficiencies. Rather, community building starts with the process of locating the assets, skills, and capacities of residents, particularly families and local institutions.” (Warren, Noftle, Ganley and Quintanar, 2013, p.98) This could have been a research to show or compare schools that have money and resources and those that don’t and I’m glad it wasn’t. I appreciated the honest effort in this research to work within the means of available resources. Humanization is seeing things as they are and use them to build relationships, build partnerships and build equity. There is a level of access that can be made available in all communities. It is unrealistic to assume that access means that every classroom in the country will look the same. It is more reasonable to expect that students will have access to the same knowledge and quality of instruction. Determining and assessing the inventory is the key place to start in every building project and is no exception to my topic of inquiry.
Durand, T. M., & Perez, N. A. (2013). Continuity and Variability in the Parental Involvement and Advocacy Beliefs of Latino Families of Young Children : Finding the Potential for a Collective Voice, 23(1), 49–80.
Kladifko, R. E. (2013). Practical School Community Partnerships Leading to Successful Educational Leaders. Educational Leadership and Administration: Teaching and Program Development, 24(January), 54–61.
Willems, P. P., & Gonzalez-DeHass, A. R. (2012). School – Community Partnerships : Using Authentic Contexts to Academically Motivate Students, 22(2), 9–30.