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Impact of Community Involvement on Learning

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Impact of Community Involvement on Learning

There is a large amount of evidence that is consistent, positive, and convincing that validate the belief that community involvement does have a significant impact on student achievement. One can measure student achievement in a variety of ways and through varied community programs or venues. Standards and goals are set by schools based on educational requirements of a program. One can facilitate achieving these goals in numerous ways.

When program initiatives focus on building mutual respect and trusting relationships between schools and communities, they are more effective in creating and sustaining connections that support student achievement (Scribner, Young and Pedroza, 1999; Chrispeels and Rivero, 2000).

Schools can collaborate with a wide variety of community partners in order to obtain the material and resources that help student achievement. A review of the literature provides the documentation for this theory. Family and community involvement that links to the progress of students and learning has a greater effect on achievement than more general forms of involvement. In essence, this would suggest that structured programs such as Project Uplift present in numerous schools around the nation, and STEM, a program that promote careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Long, 2001; NSF, 2000) are more effective in accelerating student achievement.

Sometimes schools ask the community to work with students before they actual define their needs or goals. Working alongside the school, communities can assist in presenting a vision that supports the budget and visa-vice. Developing a vision and mission and measurable, observable goals provides community with a partnership that is realistic and progressive (Deasy, 2000). In this respect, it allows the community with an opportunity to see the "fruits of their

labor" and make ongoing assessment and recommendations for closing gaps in economic deficits. With collaboration between community and schools are both in full view of successes and pitfalls that bear the responsibility and accountability for either.

Eccles and Harold (1993) believe there is a correlation between school and community partnerships and achievement measurable in the form of standardized test scores. Eccles and Harold also contend that there is a significant attitudinal change in aspects of learning and conceptualism. This character attribute has a grave impact on student achievement.

Literature is numerous in the areas of student nurturing. Creating a caring character among student is in task that schools admit to knowing little about. Literature by Vare and Miller (2000) provide some guidance for school personnel in this arena. Caring is a quality that can be intertwined throughout curriculum. Vare and Miller have compelling research that show a correlation between caring environments and student achievement.

According to the literature, self-esteem does play a tremendous role in achievement. Self-esteem is not always a liability of parents. Not all parents or guardians have the skill to relay this valuable character on students. Montemayor and Romero (2000) contend that the literature is slim in the area of good parents who exhibit the qualities that promote high student success. Schools understand how important a trait such as self-esteem may be. Self-esteem is not a trait in which a student can acquire easily through schools. Therefore, parents may not always serve as good role models for their children, and schools have found this a difficult tasking. According to a study by Ross and Broh (2000), self-esteem unless measured by personal strength or endurance, has little effect on student achievement. Self-esteem in and of

itself is a trait that is almost impossible to measure unless through observance of persistence or perseverance. Faith-based organizations receive credit for being able to work this field very well

There is increasing research demonstrating that effective school programs are not just replications of the school curriculum. In fact, Scarf and Woodlief (2000) are of the opinion that students who are unsuccessful in these programs are going to be equally unsuccessful in more of the same type after school. Additional research has found that programs that focus on youth social and academic development are more likely to result in positive youth outcomes (Jurich and Estes, 2000; McLaughlin, 2000).

In a further review of literature, the 2002 National Research Council and Institute of Medicine determine that youth who acquire academic and social skill relationships with peers that facilitate healthy behaviors, as well as received skills that promote school success and adequate transition to adulthood are in effective community programs (Eccles and Gootman, 2002).

The overarching research shows a positive effect for schools and districts evident in partnerships between schools and communities. The literature reveals an increase in student attendance rates, a decrease in the dropout rate, teen pregnancy, and delinquencies. More notably, the research will demonstrate an improvement in behavior associated with community partnerships (Eccles



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