Changes In The 21st Century Essays

Changes In The 21st Century Essays-72
In the past few decades, a different kind of relationship between school and community has emerged.Rather than being set apart from the rest of the community, the school is now often seen to be its hub.

In the past few decades, a different kind of relationship between school and community has emerged.Rather than being set apart from the rest of the community, the school is now often seen to be its hub.

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But, as the growing body of research makes quite clear, support from those beyond the school gates is an essential part of preparing learners for the twenty-first century.

Schools are expected to prepare students for a complex and rapidly changing world.

For example, some schools in the NAB Schools First program report fewer street offences and substance abuse issues than previously as a result of partnering with local community groups.[vi] Governments, too, benefit from schools connecting more strongly with business and community groups.

These kinds of relationships can help grow local economies and potentially reduce the costs of service provision through less duplication of services and shared responsibility.

Research undertaken by ACER as part of the NAB Schools First program shows that community partners have conducted training sessions across a wide range of topics, provided relevant work experience for students, offered industry experience for teachers, helped teach specific skills and knowledge related to the curriculum, organised field trips and camp activities, showed students potential career and study pathways, worked with students to improve the physical environment of the school, provided social contacts within the community and given students greater awareness of the services available for young people.[v] In broad terms, school-community engagement can bring social, intellectual, financial, psychological and performance benefits.

Social benefits may include new, stronger or more diversified networks of support.Engagement-related benefits include having an enriched curriculum as a result of interaction with external partners; enhanced professional learning opportunities for teachers; improved student attendance; reduced anti-social behaviour; improved quality of student work; improved work ethic at school; greater cultural awareness and empathy (for example, better appreciation of the needs of the elderly and greater respect for past generations); and more positive student-teacher relationships.It can be more difficult to show a direct causal connection between academic outcomes and school-community collaborations.Schools are seen to have an important role in enhancing wellbeing so that students can realise their full potential, cope with the stresses of life and participate fully in their community.Increasingly schools are expected to educate young people to behave responsibly in relation to drugs and alcohol, cyber safety, road safety and their sexual health. In the 1950s and ’60s there was little interaction between schools and the wider community.Intellectual benefits relate to the development of improved or new knowledge and skills.Financial benefits can be in the form of funding activities associated with the relationship or a by-product of the relationship.Regardless of the nature or longevity of the engagement, the primary motivation for school-community collaborations should be about improving outcomes for students.ACER’s research shows four main outcomes that schools are hoping to achieve when entering into partnerships: increased student engagement, improved academic outcomes, enhanced social wellbeing and/or broader vocational options and skills.[vii] Within these categories more specific outcomes may be identified, such as improving reading as an academic outcome.Research shows that schools in these locations have often been both physically and symbolically a central place and focus for the community.[ii] It is reported that in England 300 000 companies in 2008 engaged with education through the National Education Business Partnership Network.[iii] Both overseas and in Australia policy conditions are encouraging new social connections between schools and communities.[iv] For example, at a national level, the federal government has signalled its commitment to fostering greater business engagement in education with the establishment of the Business-School Connections Roundtable.In late 2010, the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development launched the Business Working with Education Foundation, which is intended to foster business and school partnerships.


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