Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Teachers and communities come closer together

Schools can be improved through enhanced teacher leadership, especially when community volunteers and families become involved in educational activities.
Teachers and communities come closer together
Proper teacher leadership contributes to better schools and more well-rounded graduates, especially if it takes into consideration the real world outside and the realities of the community. The EU-funded TEACH-IN (Teacher leadership for school improvement: Community capacity building towards effective leadership, educational success and social cohesion) project outlined leadership practices that bring schools and neighbourhoods closer together.

The project investigated leadership practices in the United Kingdom and beyond vis-à-vis community participation. It pinpointed teacher leadership practices that advance school-community bonds, and proposed methods that teachers can employ to bring about positive change.

To achieve its aims, the project team looked at socioeconomic data and cultural considerations from different European countries. Almost 200 teachers were involved in the process, either directly or indirectly, as were several community members and families.

Importantly, the team conducted interviews with teachers who had led development projects and families or volunteers who were involved in improving school learning. Teachers from different schools also came together to share and document best practices, with the aim of disseminating project outcomes to other schools and communities.

Among its key results, the TEACH-IN team found that teachers with very diverse positions lead to a healthier school-home relationship that encourages community participating in learning-related activities. It found that successful educational actions strengthen teacher leadership that also helps involve schools in community and learning activities, ultimately improving academic performance. Another key finding was that dialogue among teachers regarding leadership is pivotal for bringing about change.

The project's results were disseminated through 12 international conferences, as well as several informative sessions and publications. The work will ultimately enable teachers to communicate leadership practices that foster community participation on a global scale. It will also support community members such as volunteers and families become more active in education, helping students grow in different ways. This new paradigm in education is set to improve learning overall and create tighter, better communities.

Related information

Keywords

Schools, teacher leadership, community, TEACH-IN, education
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