Monday, March 30, 2009

Inquiry Project Description

What kinds of relationships are necessary between schools and communities?

What are the various relationships between schools and communities that are necessary to bring quality education to the inner cities? From our readings and my study of research journals it is plain that for any school to succeed it requires more than brilliant lesson plans, cutting-edge educational theory, dedicated teachers, or even piles of money. Reform efforts that focus solely on the schools themselves are doomed to fail. I’m interested in examining the symbiotic nature of schools and communities; how efforts to improve one will affect the other. As this topic could be incredibly broad and complex, I’ll be focusing on the effects of community organizations and schools that recognize this symbiotic relationship and target work to affect change with this relationship in mind.

I’ll be gathering information about schools such as:
Landmark HS, NYC
El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice, Brooklyn
Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and Technology, Bronx

Sample Organizations:
Coalition of Essential Schools
The United Way Of Essex And West Hudson
Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark

I’ll be gathering data from websites, publications, and hopefully interviews.
Some possible subjects include:
Norman Glickman of the Rutgers Center for Urban Policy Research
Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark Unit Director
School Board Meeting
Parents and students from target schools

Besides the general philosophy and mission of the progressive, holistic school movement, I’m interested in learning about personal experiences and feelings of some people directly involved in this work. I’m looking for data that may help me in my quest to become the most effective teacher I can be in my community, and enroll others in the possibility that reform is achievable.

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