Nora Patricia HERNÁNDEZ LÓPEZ, Jeremy Tzi Dong NG, Si Man LAM, Monaliza Maximo CHIAN
From their inception, schools have been organised for preparing the younger generations for meaningful participation in society, not only by educating the youth but by fostering social interactions and continuous learning. To this end, teachers, school leaders, and various stakeholders in the broader society must work in concert to nurture children and youth’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. In this sense, school-community partnerships refer to “the connections between schools and community individuals, organisations, and businesses that are forged to promote students' social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development” (Sanders, 2001, p.20).
Meaningful partnerships between schools and different stakeholders are aimed to improve students’ performance and attend to additional needs of not only students, but also their families, communities, and even neighbourhoods (Wheeler et al. 2018). Synergy resulting from the collaboration between schools, families, and different institutions holds great potential in enhancing students’ welfare and performance, directly benefiting attendance, homework completion, cooperation, achievement, graduation rates, and educational aspirations (Blank et al., 2003). As a result of the multifaceted nature of school-community partnerships, there is a wide variety of collaborations involving parents (Harris & Goodall, 2008), families (Willemse et al., 2018), mentors (Mtika & Payne, 2014), government institutions (Wheeler et al., 2018), universities (Hamilton et al., 2021), and the private sector (Mohamed Anuar & Chankseliani, 2023), among others, for enhancing students’ performance beyond the limits of traditional classroom settings as exemplified by the available resources included here.
Success in these partnerships requires not only the active participation of dedicated parents and school leaders, but the implementation of school reform strategies that emphasise community development (Green, 2017). To this end, leader involvement is key for effective resource allocation, i.e., time, funding, staff, and cultivating a healthy environment for collaboration (Valli et al., 2016). Similarly, funding alone should not be taken as a one-sided solution to such partnerships. In fact, the success in promoting social transformation and student well-being, especially in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, results from cohesive efforts where leaders, teachers, curriculum, and policy align with the sociocultural context (Cano-Hila & Sánchez-Martí, 2022). Finally, besides economic, human, and material support, successful partnerships also require an action plan and evaluation framework that serve to continue productive partnerships (Epstein & Sheldon, 2019).
To illuminate opportunities, considerations, and challenges that arise from school-community partnerships, some relevant resources below provide a diverse range of insights, perspectives, and information from research and practice.
Blank, M. J., Melaville, A., & Shah, B. P. (2003). Making the difference: Research and practice in community schools. Coalition for Community Schools.
Cano-Hila, A. B., & Sánchez-Martí, A. (2022). Saved by the school community strategy: School-community alliances for promoting school success in disadvantaged neighborhoods during times of austerity. Urban Education, 0(0).
Hamilton, M., O’ Dwyer, A., Leavy, A., Hourigan, M., Carroll, C., & Corry, E. (2021). A case study exploring primary teachers’ experiences of a STEM education school-university partnership. Teachers and Teaching, 27(1–4), 17–31.
Mohamed Anuar, A., & Chankseliani, M. (2023). The role of non-state providers in informal science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education: A Malaysian perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 43(1), 189–202.
Highly-Cited Academic Articles
Goldberg, J. M., Sklad, M., Elfrink, T. R., Schreurs, K. M. G., Bohlmeijer, E. T., & Clarke, A. M. (2019). Effectiveness of interventions adopting a whole school approach to enhancing social and emotional development: A meta-analysis. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 34(4), 755–782.
Publications in/about the Region
Deng, L., Zhou, N., Nie, R., Jin, P., Yang, M., & Fang, X. (2018). Parent-teacher partnership and high school students’ development in mainland China: The mediating role of teacher-student relationship. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 38(1), 15–31.
Mohamed Anuar, A., & Chankseliani, M. (2023). The role of non-state providers in informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education: A Malaysian perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 43(1), 189–202.
Paek, K. M. (2020). Opportunities and challenges in collaborative reform practice: School–community partnerships through art in Korean schools. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 39(3), 509–522.
School Examples and Resources
HKU Scholarship and Resources
Tse, S. K., Pang, E. Y.-W., Chow, K.-W., Ki, W.-W., & Lam, W. I. (2021). What empowers ethnic minority parents to change towards supporting their children’s learning of Chinese in a Hong Kong home-school-community project? Open Journal of Social Sciences, 9(5), 149–167.
Elizabeth M. Ross. (2023, March 21). The case for strong family and community engagement in schools. Usable Knowledge - Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Cleveland, B., Backhouse, S., Chandler, P., McShane, I., Clinton, J. M., & Newton, C. (Eds.). (2023). Schools as community hubs: Building ‘more than a school’ for community benefit. Springer Singapore.