Expertise versus Responsiveness in Children's Worlds: Politics in School, Home and Community Relationships

By Maureen McClure; Jane Clark Lindle | Go to book overview

In Part IV, we conclude with two chapters which refocus our attention on the more immediate issues confronting classroom teachers and parents. Sandy Azar explains in Chapter 10 how parents and teachers view their roles in children's lives. Azar helps us recognize the generalized models teachers use in working with children. She sets these professional models in bas-relief against the particularized concerns of parents about their own children's lives. Then in Chapter 11, Jean Tremain and Mahna Schwager relive for us the disputes between teachers and parents over alternative assessment in California.

Maureen McClure draws us to a conclusion by depicting how a re-evaluation of schools' social contract with communities impacts on the social capital of communities. As we developed this book we were especially concerned with the relative isolation of schools and school personnel from the bonds and interests of communities and neighbourhoods. This isolation is increasingly apparent owing to the evolving nature of family structures as well as the intense redefinitions of national and economic structures. As boundaries devolve among nations and economic interests, schools can no longer exist as secluded institutions with specific educative tasks apart from families and communities. Therefore, with this volume we challenge the experts-school personnel-to address new relationships with the laity-parents, community leaders, churches and businesses.


References
BLASE, J.J. (1987) The politics of teaching: the teacher-parent relationship and the dynamics of diplomacy. Journal of Teacher Educations, 38(2), 53-60.
CROWSON, R.L., BOYD, W.L. and MAWHINNEY, H.B. (1996) The Politics of Education and the New Institutionalism: Reinventing the American School (Washington, DC: Falmer Press).
HOLLISTER, C.D. (1979) School bureaucratization as a response to parents' demands. Urban Education, 14(2), 221-235.
LIGHTFOOT, S.L. (1978) Worlds Apart: Relationships Between Families and Schools (New York: Basic Books).
LINDLE, J.C. (1992) Parents and schools: public and private tensions in representations of expertise. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Reearch Association, San Francisco.

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