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Community Schools

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This project investigated the history of community schooling.

Community Schools: Lessons from the Past and Present analyses the history of community schooling throughout the 20th century in order to provide insights into contemporary educational reform. Community schooling is defined as a loosely organized movement to make schools centers of community life by:  

  1. extending the school’s programs to embrace many social functions;
  2. encouraging a curricular focus on the local community; or 
  3. fostering more self-conscious interaction between school personnel and community members.  

This report offers three case studies of the community schools movement across different historical periods.  The first case study examines the social center movement between 1900-1916; the second explores the efforts of social reconstructionists to create community curriculum which would help build a new social order during the Great Depression; the final case study analyses the arguments of advocates for community controlled schools in the 1960s.

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