A Principal's Guide for Building Collaborative Urban Schools Through Community Partnerships: A New Community School Paradigm For 21st Century Urban Leaders and Students
By: Bernard Gassaway
Published: 05/20/2015
Uploaded: 03/06/2018
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2015 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: community, Education, Leadership, Partnerships, principal, Urban

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Description/Abstract: The purpose of my study was to develop a Principal’s Guide that provides tools and strategies to urban high school principals who struggle to collaborate effectively in building partnerships with community stakeholders to meet the increasingly high standards and expectations of federal, state, and local mandates.
The problem addressed by my study is that urban high school principals are not taught how to develop partnerships with community stakeholders in their preparation programs or district professional development activities (Shoho & Barnett, 2010). My Principal’s Guide addresses this gap in leadership research and leadership training by offering tools and strategies to assist in preparing school leaders to collaborate effectively with community stakeholders, in addition to providing it to current principals, who are also in need of tools and strategies to build and enhance existing school-community partnerships. For the purpose of my study, community stakeholders may include students, parents, residents, tenant associations, local businesses, community and faith-based organizations, colleges and universities, and healthcare providers.
Based on my school-community partnership work as an urban high school administrator since 1994, as part of my study, which focused on the roles urban high school principals may play in building school-community partnerships, I wrote a draft of the Guide. I then conducted qualitative interviews with 18 participants, teachers, principals, community partners, university professors, and national experts, who agreed to participate voluntarily and who met certain criteria, mainly having had experience with establishing school-community partnerships. In total, I conducted approximately 34 hours of interviews for this study. Using standard qualitative analytic techniques, I identified themes from interviews and feedback on the Guide to inform changes to the Guide. In addition to interviewing the participants about how they understand the role of high school principals in developing community partnerships, I asked them questions about the Guide to include their feedback on it, which they received several weeks before the interview. Their responses informed refinements to the original Guide.
This Guide is important because it may be used by principals, professors in leadership preparation programs, and professional organizations that focus on the work of improving school and district leadership practices through community partnerships.