People need to belong to communities. School is a dominant community in the lives of children and youth, so schools need to be communities to which students want to belong.
But many school leaders assume that their school is an authentic community, and that students, staff and parents all feel a sense of belonging, within the school. It is not so. Many schools are probably no more a community than people in a hotel or on an aeroplane — located in the same place at the same time for a common purpose, but with no real relationship between them.
This is a practical book, describing in simple terms what a sense of community looks like, and how to build it in your school.
BELONGING: Building a sense of community in your school
- IS A SCHOOL A COMMUNITY? Setting the context and purpose
- WHY DOES IT MATTER? Valuing a sense of community
- WHAT IS A SENSE OF COMMUNITY? Clarifying the concept
- CAN WE OBSERVE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY IN SCHOOLS? Defining the dimensions
- WHAT ARE THE ASSUMPTIONS? Ensuring the meanings are clear
- CAN WE MEASURE THE DIMENSIONS OF COMMUNITY? Identifying an instrument or process.
- HOW CAN WE ENHANCE THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY? Acting strategically.
- WHERE TO NOW? Finding the way forward