Role of the University in Building Schools for the Whole Child

Role of the University in Building Schools for the Whole Child

Mary E. Walsh (Boston College, USA), Anna N. Hamilton (Boston College, USA) and Quang D. Tran (Boston College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0280-8.ch003
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An increasing number of university-K-12 partnerships are addressing the out-of-school challenges that can often constitute barriers to learning for students. This chapter describes the role that universities have played in shaping models of schooling that are intentionally designed to support the whole child and integrate services and enrichment opportunities to support students. It outlines how this university-K-12 collaboration has occurred in three major phases in which universities have: 1) helped to develop and/or implement new approaches on the ground, 2) refine these approaches utilizing developmental science and best practice, and 3) deepened the measurement of the effectiveness and efficiency of the models, as well as strengthening their scalability and sustainability.
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Universities have partnered with K-12 schools for many decades. Many of the original partnerships focused on the preparation and training of student teachers and other licensed educational professionals. K-12 schools provided sites for university students to practice their new craft with the university as the primary beneficiary of the collaboration. In recent decades, these partnerships have shifted toward becoming more mutually beneficial – with universities and schools engaging as active contributors in developing innovative approaches to addressing significant challenges in K-12 education. The literature describing the efficacy of these school-university partnerships and their potential for mutual enrichment has burgeoned in the United States (e.g., Anyon & Fernandez, 2007; Biag & Sanchez, 2016; Bourke & Jayman, 2011; Calabrese, 2006; Hooper & Britnell, 2012; Hopson, Miller, & Lovelace, 2016) as well as in multiple countries around the world (e.g., Allen, Howells, & Radford, 2013; Bloomfield & Nguyen, 2015; Kruger, Davies, Eckersley, Newell, & Cherednichenko, 2009; Maher, Schuck, & Perry, 2017; Sewell, Cody, Weir, & Hansen, 2018).

The preparation of teachers constitutes the focus of about a third of the recent literature (e.g., Callahan & Martin, 2007; Maheady, Magiera, & Simmons, 2016; Paufler & Amrein-Beardsley, 2016). Other foci of these partnerships includes improvements in curriculum and instruction (Arhar, et al., 2013; Fahey, 2011; Maher, Schuck, & Perry, 2017; Herro, Qian, & Jacques, 2017), practices of school leaders (Fahey, 2011; Hopson, Miller, & Lovelace, 2016; Simmons et al., 2007), service learning (Eyler & Giles, 1999; Kronick, Cunningham, & Gourley, 2011), and school districts’ role in school improvement (e.g., Biag & Sanchez, 2016). With the renewed emphasis on accountability, there has been a spate of articles on the role of university-school partnerships on testing and evaluation (McNall, Reed, Brown, & Allen, 2009; Hooper & Britnell, 2012; Corbin, Chu, Carney, Donnelly, & Clancy, 2017; Callahan & Martin, 2007). A few of these partnerships have addressed policy changes such as those related to overcoming barriers to equity (Bourke & Jayman, 2011; Ward, Strambler, & Linke, 2013).

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