"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). Because of this schools are highly valued. However the pressure on teachers and schools places an unfair burden on them. So it is important to recognise that schools in fact can not do it alone and that community engagement and cooperation from schools and communities is essential to the students learning development and teaching quality.
The definition of community engagement is somewhat abstract as particularly in schools it is seen as purely family involvement while others see community engagement as involvement with local businesses. However the following definition of community engagement will acknowledge that community engagement is in fact all of the above and more. Community engagement "is a planned process with the specific purpose of working with identified groups of people" (Department of sustainability and environment, 2005, pg. 10). In relation to the following essay and the definition above it will discuss how community engagement can be implemented in schools with a purpose, the benefits of community engagement for students, the challenges of successful community engagement and how community engagement can be effective in schools.
The implementation of parent and community engagement can make a significant difference to students' outcomes. However for the implementation of community engagement...