Reconnecting communities: creating and sustaining the relationships between communities, families and schools
Respecting the conference theme, ‘(Re)connecting Communities’, ECER/EERA Network 14 invites contributions on school-community relationships in all locations, in particular those involving families and schools in the socio-educational development of the community. For example: what can be learned in/from these spaces? How do schools promote the participation and engagement of families and the community? How do local organisations foster the contributions of schools? What are the benefits of (re)connecting schools, families and communities? How far does enhancing a social media presence facilitate community engagement and parental involvement? How have social media affected parental involvement and facilitated community engagement?
This call invites work on school-community relationships in all locations. It unites the key concepts of ECER/EERA Network 14’s research mission: communities, families, schooling and place. These foci provide a mapping for understanding of who connects with whom – individuals, groups, organisations – and how those (re)connections promote learning and community.
Respecting the conference theme, ‘(Re)connecting Communities’, Network 14 welcomes contributions such as (1) how cooperation or partnerships between schools and/or other organisations can be initiated and sustained to foster community development or (2) whether the use of social media by schools has raised parental involvement and facilitated community engagement.
Such considerations might build on existing work, challenging commonsense understandings about binaries relating to place (Corbett & White, 2014; Green & Reid, 2014; Cuervo, 2016) and problematizing notions of community and place (Massey, 2005; Pini & Mayes, 2015). Recently researchers have been studying the role of virtual spaces and social media in community-school connections (e.g., Goodall, 2016). Kimmons et al. (2018) question schools’ use of social media: is it to build parental involvement, or just to tweet at, rather than with families? (p. 320).
At ECER 2016, Network 14 discussed how rural schools, operating as hubs for the socio-educational development of communities identified positive, rather than deficit, rural stories. This resulted in a special issue of the Australian and International Journal of Rural Education edited by Robyn Henderson & Joana Lúcio (2017).
To build on that research, Network 14 now invites research on how schools, other organisations and groups are (re)connecting communities and (re)connecting with communities. This call revisits the theme of socio-educational development, but expands it beyond schools to other groups and organisations, in wider contexts beyond the rural to the regional, remote, urban, local, global, and even virtual places and spaces.
It is expected that the papers submitted as part of this call will be diverse, representing a range of interrogations, which might address some of the following:
- What can be learned in/from different places and spaces?
- How do schools and other organisations promote the participation and engagement of families and the community?
- How do local organisations foster the contribution/s of schools?
- What are the benefits of (re)connecting schools, families and communities?
- How is learning promoted through school-family-community relationships?
- How have social media affected parental involvement and facilitated community engagement?
Those from any field of educational research and organisational science interested in contributing a paper, symposium, roundtable proposal or poster, within this special call, should contact the link convener.
Laurence Lasselle, University of St Andrews, UK, link convener in EERA NW14 (laurence.lasselle(at)st-andrews.ac.uk)
Corbett, M., & White, S. (2014). Introduction: Why put the 'rural' in research? In S. White & M. Corbett (Eds.), Doing educational research in rural settings: Methodological issues, international perspectives and practical solutions (pp. 1–4). London: Routledge.
Cuervo, H. (2016). Understanding social justice in rural education. Palgrave Macmillan.
Goodall, J. S. (2016). Technology and school-home communication. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 11(2), 118–131.
Green, B., & Reid, J.-A. (2014). Social cartography and rural education: Researching space(s) and place(s). In S. White & M. Corbett (Eds.), Doing educational research in rural settings: Methodological issues, international perspectives and practical solutions (pp. 26–40). London: Routledge.
Henderson, R., & Lúcio, J. (Eds.). (2017). Special issue. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 27(2).
Kimmons, R., Carpenter, J.P., Veletsianos, G., & Krutka, D. G. (2018). Mining social media divides: An analysis of K-12 U.S. School uses of Twitter, Learning, Media and Technology, 43(3), 307-325.
Massey, D. (2005). For space. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Pini, B., & Mayes, J. (2015). Australian rural education research: A geographical perspective. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 25(3), 26-35.