Special Issue "Place-based Partnerships and New School Designs to Address Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Social Isolation"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hal A. Lawson

Professor of Educational Administration & Policy Studies and Professor of Social Welfare, University at Albany, State University of New York, 212 Richardson Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12222, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: school-family-community-university partnerships; cradle-to-career education systems; community schools; family-centered policies and practices; poverty-focused interventions; complex systems change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Stimulated in part by global capitalism, individuals and families are on the move in unprecedented numbers. Although several population shifts have been documented, three main migration patterns are noteworthy. The first is international, and it helps to account for the development of so-called “arrival city neighborhoods”, characterized by dense concentrations of vulnerable, diverse people. The other two are intra-national: (1) Flows from rural areas to cities; and (2) Flows from urban centers to inner ring suburbs. Mirroring some such international, people flows, and notwithstanding these migrants’ strengths and bold aspirations, many intra-national individuals and families on the move can be classified as vulnerable because they have limited levels of formal education, and they oftentimes confront manifold challenges and endure hardships in their new residences.

In brief, these population changes (demography), increasingly, are altering urban neighborhoods, inner ring suburbs, and rural communities (social geography). Poverty, defined as economic hardship, increasingly is concentrated in these special places, and it oftentimes is accompanied by social isolation. On top of this dual challenge, social exclusion, defined as perceived and real racial-ethnic discrimination, marginalization, and oppression, impedes social integration and school completion because young people conclude that educational opportunity structures available to privileged people are not available to them.

When the terrible trilogy of poverty, social exclusion, and social isolation prevails in particular places, conventional schools, which are typically structured as stand-alone institutions in which educators work alone and focus exclusively on the school day, are unable to achieve desirable outcomes. Educators need additional assistance, social supports and resources.

Toward this end, educational leaders are forming partnerships with child- and family-serving agencies, local businesses, neighborhood organizations, colleges and universities, and local governments. While some such partnerships are structured to make conventional schools more effective, others are instrumental in the development of new designs for schools and other innovative educational institutions. Significantly, all such partnerships and school-related innovations tend to be tailor-made for particular places with their somewhat unique population profiles.

This Special Issue features developing exemplars for these place-based partnerships and new school designs. In view of the nascent status of many such exemplars, descriptive-analytic papers offering early evaluation data are welcome. Interest also resides in partnerships and new school designs for particular sub-populations, such as homeless youths, early school leavers, “looked after children”, and diverse students who contest and resist social integration. Authors are encouraged to consult the Guest Editor about the suitability of their proposal.

Hal A. Lawson
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Categories, Boundaries, and Bridges: The Social Geography of Schooling and the Need for New Institutional Designs
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 32; doi:10.3390/educsci6030032
Received: 3 September 2016 / Revised: 6 September 2016 / Accepted: 7 September 2016 / Published: 20 September 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As unprecedented child and family migration patterns continue, neighborhoods, hamlets, towns, cities, states/provinces, and entire nations are impacted. These impacts are especially profound when migrants’ first language is not the host nation’s dominant one; when they relocate in communities already challenged by poverty,
[...] Read more.
As unprecedented child and family migration patterns continue, neighborhoods, hamlets, towns, cities, states/provinces, and entire nations are impacted. These impacts are especially profound when migrants’ first language is not the host nation’s dominant one; when they relocate in communities already challenged by poverty, social exclusion, and social isolation; and when educator-controlled, standardized, stand-alone schools continue to focus exclusively on teacher-directed, academic learning during the school day. Under these circumstances, standardized schools struggle to achieve desirable results, making it clear that relations between schools and their host locales are consequential for everyone. Using the United States as a case example, this introductory analysis provides an appreciative framework for the new designs presented in this Special Issue of Education Sciences. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Critical Consciousness and Schooling: The Impact of the Community as a Classroom Program on Academic Indicators
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 25; doi:10.3390/educsci7010025
Received: 22 July 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
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Abstract
The present study investigates the extent to which a program guided by the principles of critical pedagogy, which seeks to develop critical consciousness, is associated with the improved academic performance of students attending a low-performance middle-school in Buffalo, New York. The students were
[...] Read more.
The present study investigates the extent to which a program guided by the principles of critical pedagogy, which seeks to develop critical consciousness, is associated with the improved academic performance of students attending a low-performance middle-school in Buffalo, New York. The students were enrolled in an in-school academic support program called the Community as Classroom, which used critical project-based learning to show students how to improve neighborhood conditions. The study found that the Community as Classroom program bolstered student engagement as reflected in improved attendance, on-time-arrival at school, and reduced suspensions. Although class grades did not improve, standardized scores, particularly in Math and Science, dramatically improved for these students from the lowest scoring categories. We suspect that given increased student engagement and dramatically improved standardized test scores, teacher bias might be the cause of no improvements in class grades. We conclude that critical pedagogy, which leads to increased critical consciousness, is a tool that can lead to improved academic performance of students. Such a pedagogy, we argue, should be more widely used in public schools, with a particular emphasis on their deployment in Community Schools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mobilization and Adaptation of a Rural Cradle-to-Career Network
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 34; doi:10.3390/educsci6040034
Received: 6 July 2016 / Revised: 4 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 October 2016 / Published: 19 October 2016
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Abstract
This case study explored the development of a rural cradle-to-career network with a dual focus on the initial mobilization of network members and subsequent adaptations made to maintain mobilization, while meeting local needs. Data sources included interviews with network members, observations of meetings,
[...] Read more.
This case study explored the development of a rural cradle-to-career network with a dual focus on the initial mobilization of network members and subsequent adaptations made to maintain mobilization, while meeting local needs. Data sources included interviews with network members, observations of meetings, and documentary evidence. Network-based social capital facilitated mobilization. Where networks were absent and where distrust and different values were evident, mobilization faltered. Three network adaptations were discovered: Special rural community organizing strategies, district-level action planning, and a theory of action focused on out-of-school factors. All three were attributable to the composition of mobilized stakeholders and this network’s rural social geography. These findings illuminate the importance of social geography in the development and advancement of rural cradle-to-career networks. Full article
Open AccessArticle “We’re One Team”: Examining Community School Implementation Strategies in Oakland
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 26; doi:10.3390/educsci6030026
Received: 1 May 2016 / Revised: 19 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1052 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The community school model posits that the traditional school model is not sufficient to overcome the role of poverty in equitable access to learning, and that improving student achievement requires addressing the needs of the whole child. By leveraging community partnerships to address
[...] Read more.
The community school model posits that the traditional school model is not sufficient to overcome the role of poverty in equitable access to learning, and that improving student achievement requires addressing the needs of the whole child. By leveraging community partnerships to address student barriers to learning and shift relationships between schools, families, and community, the community school model represents an expanded vision of what schools are, who they include, and what they are responsible for. This paper aims to improve our understanding of community school implementation, based on qualitative research in five community schools in Oakland, California. We apply the Children’s Aid Society’s framework of four community school capacities including: (1) comprehensiveness; (2) collaboration; (3) coherence; and (4) commitment (Lubell, 2011) in our analysis. We find evidence of a collaborative culture, in which school and community partner staff worked together across traditional boundaries to serve students. Schools showed signs of coherence of vision and goals, and alignment of services and supports with the instructional core of the school. Community school strategies not only provided important school-based services but also represented an expansion of the traditional school model by leveraging and aligning community partners to improve student outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Relations between Child Poverty and New Migrant Child Status, Academic Attainment and Social Participation: Insights Using Social Capital Theory
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 24; doi:10.3390/educsci6030024
Received: 27 April 2016 / Revised: 19 July 2016 / Accepted: 21 July 2016 / Published: 1 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Currently, around one in five children in the United Kingdom and the United States live in poverty. This has a devastating effect on their wellbeing, education and broader socio-political participation, and life chances. In this paper, Scottish policy documentary data are used to
[...] Read more.
Currently, around one in five children in the United Kingdom and the United States live in poverty. This has a devastating effect on their wellbeing, education and broader socio-political participation, and life chances. In this paper, Scottish policy documentary data are used to discuss the effects of relations amongst categories of children in poverty, migrant child status, and academic under-attainment. The study draws on social capital and intersectionalities theory to explore some of the power and knowledge relations that are effects of policy statements. The paper concludes by suggesting that addressing the issues of poverty and educational under-attainment, including for migrant children, requires a policy strategy beyond education. Disconnections across social, cultural, and economic child policy need to be redesigned in order to change the very real socio-economic-cultural-political relations which policy produces; these relations can lead to either high levels of social participation and potential academic attainment of new arrival children or to their social exclusion. Accordingly, knowledge practices aiming to improve the socio-economic-cultural-political inclusion of migrant children make central the conditions and experiences constitutive of new migrants’ lived social lives. Full article
Open AccessArticle Networked Social Enterprises: A New Model of Community Schooling for Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Facing Challenging Times
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 20; doi:10.3390/educsci6030020
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 23 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Community schools have long been accepted as an institutional mechanism for intervening in the relationship between poverty, poor educational outcomes, and limited life chances. At a time when public services are being retracted, and disadvantaged places are being increasingly left to struggle, community
[...] Read more.
Community schools have long been accepted as an institutional mechanism for intervening in the relationship between poverty, poor educational outcomes, and limited life chances. At a time when public services are being retracted, and disadvantaged places are being increasingly left to struggle, community schools are poised to become more important in offering a response to the needs of children, families, and communities in these places. Yet, despite their apparent promise, community schools remain badly under-conceptualized. As an international field, research on community schooling has rarely articulated or questioned how—by providing additional learning and leisure opportunities and personal and social supports—community schools might create a viable intervention in the relationship between poverty and poor outcomes. This paper explicitly addresses this significant challenge. Conceptualizing empirical findings emerging from a research-practice partnership, it identifies the core features of a new institutional design for community schools which can help to clarify their potential contribution to addressing disadvantage. Marking a considerable shift from a traditional design of simply adding new services to the school day, it argues that community schools will need to operate as social enterprises with networked governance arrangements, and to develop strategies which engage with children’s social ecologies, and are risk-reducing and resilience-building within these. This, in turn, sets a new agenda for significantly advancing the field of community schooling by further defining—conceptually and empirically—the core elements of a new institutional design as identified here. Full article
Open AccessArticle A University-Assisted, Place-Based Model for Enhancing Students’ Peer, Family, and Community Ecologies
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(2), 16; doi:10.3390/educsci6020016
Received: 1 May 2016 / Revised: 5 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Community schools have recently (re)emerged in the United States as a vital, comprehensive strategy for addressing poverty-related barriers to children’s school learning. However, not all low-income school communities are endowed with the resources needed to launch a comprehensive array of school-based/linked services and
[...] Read more.
Community schools have recently (re)emerged in the United States as a vital, comprehensive strategy for addressing poverty-related barriers to children’s school learning. However, not all low-income school communities are endowed with the resources needed to launch a comprehensive array of school-based/linked services and programs. In this article, the authors describe a place-based model for school improvement for low-income school communities where formal and fiscal resources are in short-supply. Framed by two best-practice interventions from the youth development and family support literatures, the authors identify five “high leverage” improvement mechanisms that social workers, educators, and parents can collaboratively target to affect change. These improvement mechanisms, together with the interventions they implicate, can help community school efforts provide a more powerful, engagement-focused reach into students’ peer, family, and community ecologies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Immigrant Children and Youth in the USA: Facilitating Equity of Opportunity at School
Educ. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 323-344; doi:10.3390/educsci5040323
Received: 22 September 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (513 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A great deal has been written about immigrant children and youth. Drawing on work done in the USA, this paper focuses on implications for school improvement policy and practice. Discussed are (1) the increasing influx of immigrants into schools; (2) different reasons families
[...] Read more.
A great deal has been written about immigrant children and youth. Drawing on work done in the USA, this paper focuses on implications for school improvement policy and practice. Discussed are (1) the increasing influx of immigrants into schools; (2) different reasons families migrate; (3) concerns that arise related to immigrant students; (4) prevailing school practices for addressing immigrant concerns; (5) a framework for broadening what schools and communities do; and (6) policy implications, cautions, and recommendations for embedding immigrant concerns into a unified, comprehensive, and equitable system of student and learning supports. Full article

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