Academic journal article New Waves

Guest Editor Introduction

Academic journal article New Waves

Guest Editor Introduction

Article excerpt

Learning is often exclusively associated with what occurs within the walls of a classroom, which ignores educational experiences embedded in family and community-based activities. As a former urban educator, I hold a passion and appreciation for the powerful influence of a child's family and community. Learning outside of the classroom creates important consequences for children's achievement in school. In fact, children gain innumerable social and cognitive skills as part of their everyday family lives, as well as through community-based and extra-curricular activities. Although collaborating with families and communities is now viewed as an essential role for teachers and schools, the field still struggles to demystify the thoughts and behaviors of students ' families, and capitalize upon opportunities in the community to support children 's learning and development. For that reason, this special issue focused on children's education outside of the classroom. The general goal was to facilitate the sharing of family and community-oriented research, as well as prompt reflection and discussion on this important topic.

In the articles that follow, the authors offer a range of lenses into the lives of children and families through the study of language practices, alternative learning spaces, parental memories of school, and multigenerational community-events. Although each set of authors pursued distinct and diverse research questions, they all considered the strength and promise of families and communities. Their emphasis resides in unpacking the history and cultural values of families, and critiquing traditional practices that place some families at a disadvantage. …

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