The Historical and Contemporary Relevance of the Interconnectivity of Community, Community-Based Education, and Transformative Education

The Historical and Contemporary Relevance of the Interconnectivity of Community, Community-Based Education, and Transformative Education

Dionne Rosser-Mims (Troy University, Troy, AL, USA) and James Maloney (Leadership Consulting/Leadership USA, Inc., Kansas City, MO, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijavet.2017010105
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Abstract

This manuscript examines the past and present frameworks for conceptualizing community, community-based education, and their relationship to transformative education/learning. A case is made for the importance of community-based education providers serving as a mechanism for the engagement for such learning.
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Introduction

Every individual is a member of some kind of community and each, whether deliberately or unintentionally, engage in learning provided within their social milieu. Moreover, communities are diverse entities. It is through this diversity that adult learners find educational opportunities to engage in purposeful or transformative learning. This manuscript examines the past and present frameworks for conceptualizing community, community-based education and their relationship to transformative education/learning. A case is made for the importance of community-based education providers serving as a mechanism for the engagement for such learning through community leadership development programs (CLDPs) which is an example of a community resource, developed by people in community, and is tied to issues of concern to the community and emergence of issues requiring people to work on them. Additionally, many programs support alumni groups and programming for those who completed the community-based program (J. Maloney, Personal Papers, 1989). Some communities have even developed youth program, early career programs, traditional programs and even seniors programs. Colleges may also have such programs for those attending them. CLDPs also encourage continuing community education by supporting “alumni” organizations of graduates. In other communities alumni groups may be separately incorporated.

Community-based educational providers, such as libraries, religious institutions, senior citizen centers, museums, business and industry, community colleges, state and regional universities, vocational and technical institutions, health related organizations, the mass media, to name a few, are positioned to assist in the design and development of community-based lifelong learning communities and the provision of transformative learning opportunities. Formal and informal learning opportunities should be available to community members of all ages in a wide variety of community settings. Principles associated with community-based education are grounded in the notion that each and every community member has a right to be involved in the identification and resolution of individual and community needs through a democratic participatory process (Brady, 2006; Cohen, 1985). The total community, including all public organizations and agencies, is positioned to serve as the vehicle for bring about change and meeting identified needs.

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