Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-31-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

David Weintraub

Committee Member

Cathern Wildey

Committee Member

Kimberly Durham

Abstract

Studies indicate that school-community partnerships have positive impacts on the learners and reducing the educational achievement gap is one of the identified benefits. This study sought to examine the development of educational partnerships from the perspective of the teachers. The researcher assumed that teachers play a significant role in the formation and continuation of the partnerships, thereby influencing their success. Consequently, this study sought to explore teachers’ experiences with educational partnerships regarding improving academic performance and reducing achievement gaps.

The study used purposive sampling to select 7 teachers from Title I Elementary school in Central Florida. The school was targeted as a case study because it had just adopted the community-school approach. The primary data collection method that was employed was semi-structured interviews. The collected data was then coded to identify emergent themes. The responses revealed 10 emergent themes, (1) creation of a strong community, (2) provision of essential services, (3) cooperation, (4) active involvement and cooperation, (5) increased support, (6) improved relationships, (7) increase in roles that need new skills, (8) participation, (9) funding, and (10) advocacy. Effective partnership strategies, as described in the literature, were observed, and participants also expressed awareness of such approaches. Moreover, the impact of school-community partnerships in improving student achievement was also noted, as described in the literature. Recommendations for future research and local practice are offered to enhance the knowledge available to the stakeholders as they seek to identify ways to help students and improve their neighborhoods. Nevertheless, due to the unique circumstances of every community, the recommendations should be considered in terms of their application and appropriateness towards enhancing school-community partnerships.

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