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stuart grauer
Small Versus Large Schools: The Truth About Equity, Cost, and Diversity of Programming
Why do we keep the focus on building gigantic schools when we now have over 30 years of promising small schools data? Here is one big reason the data are ignored: cultural expectations about high school are deeply embedded. Powerful and often compelling myths about schooling tend to govern our collective assumptions about normalcy, and these myths have silently, steadfastly advanced the move to larger, more consolidated schools. read more
school shootings
School Shootings: What Does Early Childhood Have to Do with Them?
I realize this isn’t the kind of thing I typically write about — and it would certainly seem to have nothing to do with early childhood — but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about school shootings. I’ve found myself asking: What is it that incites such rage in these young people that they see killing as the only resort? Upon reflection, however, I’ve realized we can probably assume that the kind of anger, frustration, and helplessness — the mental health issues — evident in school shooters doesn’t just suddenly crop up. It builds! And based on what I know to be happening in the education and lives of today’s young children, I’m firmly convinced that it often does begin in early childhood. read more
Imagining the Possible, Then Making it Happen
Most of my teaching career, I have defied the book. I’ve strived to put learning in context, connect students to issues in the community and make learning as relevant a process as I can. Meanwhile I work hard at helping students reach mastery and upholding the great standards. I signed a contract after all. It is always a great juggling act and way more work than following the “book” or program. The accomplishments do feel great, but there is always this sense that there wasn’t enough time or fluidity in the project. It could have been so much more if it didn’t have to have such a premature ending. read more
Join Us in Transforming Education
Don't miss our annual series of professional development events. Join us at CWI's 2019 Summer EAST and WEST Institutes on Service-Learning, in Vermont and Los Angeles. Join educators from across the U.S. and around the world for a week of learning, exploration, and practical curriculum design. The perfect way for individual educators and school cohorts to deepen their use of service-learning and sustainability. These are dynamic best practice based events, appropriate for K-16 and community educators. learn more l special rates l on-site support
Small Schools: The Real Story on the Economy of Getting Small
Small design schools have historically been presumed to be uneconomical. We now understand that small schools, defined by the Small Schools Coalition as schools with 399 students or fewer, are no more expensive than today’s large consolidated schools. In fact, research has shown that formulas for determining funding disguise tremendous non-cash costs associated closely with large schools; some of those costs are difficult to affix a price tag to, and some of them include terrible social costs. read more
call for submissions
Share Your Story with Our Readers
Community Works Journal welcomes unsolicited articles and essays. We are always glad to speak with prospective authors about their story ideas. The articles we publish range from deeply personal essays and reflections to more formal description of programs and curriculum. We look for engaging articles and essays that highlight important issues, or innovative educational strategies and practices involving students in meaningful work within their communities. Articles may also feature curriculum or program examples, tools and teaching resources. submission guide
The Little Things: Uncovering Identity on Campus Through Dress and Adornment
The class chose to tackle this topic by focusing on the student body, a constituency that the museum has struggled to engage over the years. Inspired by readings that explore the complex relationships that people form with objects, they wanted to ask their fellow students about what items of dress and adornment best encapsulate their identity. After a crash course in interview techniques and fieldwork ethics, each student set out to record conversations on this issue with at least five students by the next class. Each week they returned to the group with reports of their progress. read more
Educating for Sustainability: An Introduction
Education for Sustainability It’s a tall order. But without some reorientation of our current societal behaviors, the climate will get warmer, the oceans higher, the food supply less dependable, and the gap between rich and poor wider. You know that old saying about how hard it is to change the path of an aircraft carrier? Well, imagine that the aircraft carrier is as big as the earth. It will take a long time and lots of concerted effort on everyone’s part to change the path we’re on. Do we really have any choice? Of course not. It's time to intergate principles of sustainability in our work as educators, the reasons are compelling. read more
service learning
Voice and Vision: How Girls Learn to Lead and Resist Leading
Claiming one’s voice is to leadership what steel beams are to construction—the beams support the structure. In the same way, the ability to imagine and convey one’s vision is essential for leaders. I worry that in many school communities the term “leadership” has become a catch-all; we need to deconstruct the term, to parse it so that girls understand there are many ways to lead. Perhaps one non-negotiable is that great leaders know how to communicate effectively. They also share a willingness to initiate, to inspire, to listen closely and to follow through. read more

service learning
Service-Learning With Jailed Partners: Overcoming Negative Stereotypes
A story of an unusual and innovative service-learning partnership that has been sustained for ten years and designed specifically as a collaborative educational experience for local jail inmates and students, and not as a research project. From this long term partnership valuable lessons were learned in building sustainable service-learning courses and the use of quality service-learning practice. Along the way, some unexpected but heartwarming results appeared for all participants including the instructors. read more

service learning
Intergenerational Learning: The Great Migration
Our students’ exposure to the black community in Brockton was predominantly shaped through service projects. They learned in the classroom about poverty and went to the city next door to help. Most of the people they were helping or studying were individuals of color—and poor. What the students were missing were the stories of the American blacks in the community who struggled and prospered, who valued education, whose children graduated college and rose through the ranks. Students needed to hear how hard it was succeed, how easy it would have been to give up and how failure wasn’t an option. read more

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