Bridging the gap: A case study of the home-school-community relationship at Ochoa elementary school
AuthorMontera, Viki L., 1952-
AdvisorHeckman, Paul E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFundamental school reform continues to elude educators. Lessons from past reform efforts point to the influence of a school's culture in resisting reform efforts, leading reformers to adopt a cultural perspective of school change. The need for school reform is particularly alarming in economically poor minority communities where students are failing and dropping out of school in high numbers. One of the factors cited as contributing to this failure is the disconnection/differences between the student's home culture and school culture. These differences create a high degree of incongruity for these children resulting in confusion, resistance, and withdrawal--physically and/or mentally. This study examines a high minority, low SES urban elementary school that has been involved in a school cultural change project, the Educational and Community Change Project. This research sought to identify developments in the home-school-community relationship throughout the first four years of the project. Three dimensions of this home-school-community relationship were examined: the nature of activities in which parents and school personnel engaged, views teachers held about the families and community, and connection between the curricular and community lives of the children. The study involved an examination of multiple data sources gathered during the first year and fourth year of the project. A description was developed for each of these dimensions during these two time periods. Findings. The overall nature of the school's relationship with the families and community was shifting from one of disconnection to increased interactions and connections. This overall finding illustrates several significant developments in the nature of the school's relationship with the families and community. These developments indicate the need for further examination of this cultural approach to school change in relation to other aspects of the school. Further research on this approach to school reform may hold more clues for educators seeking to reform schools. Several conditions present throughout this process were weekly inquiry sessions with school staff, a third party serving as a critical friend in inquiry sessions and in the classroom, and the permission and support of school administration. These conditions also call for further exploration.
Degree ProgramGraduate College