Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution

Bob Kronick and Dareen Basma
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA

Series: Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
BISAC: EDU021000

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Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick

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The subject of this text is vulnerable children, families and interventions within the community school system that work with people who have problems with their daily lives. A community school is a school that has broadened its mission and vision to meet the needs of all of its students. The community school is where health, mental health, and other services are provided, with an emphasis on prevention. The community school is a new environment where a systems approach to change is utilized. It is not a school where human services are an add-on, but one where collaboration and input from the community determines the services that are provided to the students and families. The text not only identifies critical issues that are faced in public schools and lower income neighborhoods but also workable solutions. The book integrates theory and practice to communicate to the reader what a community school looks like, the purpose of a community school, and the varying facets that are involved in developing, maintaining and growing a community school. This book adds to the knowledge base of faculty and university students, school personnel and community stakeholders, while focusing on systems theories, prevention and collaboration.
(Imprint: Novinka)

Introduction

Chapter 1. Theoretical Foundations

Chapter 2. How Problems Become Wicked

Chapter 3. Entering All Systems

Chapter 4. Multicultural Dreams and the Community School

Chapter 5. The Community School Movement

Chapter 6. Research and Evaluation

References

About the Authors

Index

“How refreshing it is to see books li e Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution being written. Given the interconnectedness of urban problems, it seems clear that school reform will not happen in isolation from other urban social institutions, such as universities, city government, supportive service providers, housing authorities, and city and regional private funders. This book will provide insights into how to bring these diverse stakeholders together to build new urban regimes that support a neighborhood- or p/ace-9ased school reform model into the reform discussion within cities. Not only will the book be able to appeal to education scholars and urban scholars alike, but there is a cohort of community-engaged administrators in higher education whose job it is to broker K-12 education partnerships. This book will be part of the call to university faculty, staff, and upper-level administrators to ensure that high r education is more responsive to its local community. Being an active part of the school reform process is one way that universities can make this community engagement a reality. However, few books actually dive deeply into how the university can be involved in such a process. This book will be' a great contribution to the literature. Needless to say, this book has my strong endorsement. Please consider accepting this proposal.” - D. Gavin Luter, PhD, Executive Director, Wisconsin Campus Compact, University of Wisconsin-Extension (Madison, WI)- Host Institution, Faculty Affiliate, Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The power of schools to elevate the lives of disenfranchised children has been well documented. Yet, there are many children who through no fault of their own are consigned to schools whose standard approach to learning fails to optimize their innate intellect. Decades of research affirm that community schools are one effective model supportive of the diverse needs of students in their quest for success. In theory, one would be hard-pressed to find detractors of community schools. Historically the challenge has been providing details of how to create and assess the efficacy of this educational intervention. The "Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution" addresses this void in the literature by providing practical, theoretical and evidenced-based strategies to implement the community school model as a way to meet the needs of school children and their families. Inherent in the rigorous assessment and evaluative strategies provided by the authors lie nuggets that can inform policy makers and educators of the efficacy of the community school model. The authors I have come to their conclusions after years of model immersion and I highly recommend this text to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of community schools in a contemporary context.” - J.W. Richardson, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Center for Global Health Distinguished Scholar, Asst. Director, Community Health Programs & Research Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine

“Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution will be an important book that contributed to the literature on community schools. The inadequacy of schooling is a major roadblock to the regeneration of underdeveloped urban communities. One reason is the multifaceted and intersectional nature of problems confronting children living in these community. The community school project is one of the most important experiments! in educational reform. Such schools, with their focus on service and engagement in the community, is one of best hopes for changing the trajectory in underdeveloped communities. Even so, knowledge about building community schools is limited. Kronick and Basma's proposed manuscript will deepen insight and understanding of the community school project. I fully endorse this project and strongly recommend your acceptance of the book proposal.” - Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning Director, UB Center for Urban Studies

“Bob Kronick’s most recent undertaking effectively combines theory and practice to examine how families, teachers, university faculty and students, and community partners collaborate to reshape the public school experience for students in income-poor neighborhoods. Understanding that raising student success often and necessarily involves addressing family and community limitations, including language barriers, constrained public services, fewer affordable healthy food options, Kronick argues that utilizing a community schools model allows stakeholders to pool community resources, draw on the strengths of community residents to create better outcomes for not only students, but also their families and the community. In Knoxville, Kronick worked with The Haslam Scholars Program, the University of Tennessee’s premier enrichment program, to place scholars at Pond Gap and Inskip Elementary Schools. Sixty of the school’s top students work with elementary students, teachers, parents and local businesses to provide support in the community garden, afterschool tutoring, language instruction, a Lego league and a robotics club, hands-on science activities, and classroom assistance for school teachers. Kronick shows that with strong community support, achievement outcomes improve inside and outside the classroom.” - Sylvia D. Turner, Ph.D., Associate Director, Haslam Scholars Program, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“Kronick and Basma’s book, Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution, is timely as it offers both a theoretically rich and practically grounded perspective on engaging in long-term university-school partnerships. As a former teacher in one of Kronick’s University-Assisted Community School’s after school programs, I am well aware of the need for resources that offer a ‘map’ of and concrete guidance for how to engage effectively in community and school level work. Indeed, this book provides a rich and detailed discussion of how to partner with schools and communities in the joint pursuit of meaningful reform efforts. This book will serve as a useful resource to a variety of stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, community advocates, and academics.” - Jessica Nina Lester, Assistant Professor, Inquiry Methodology, School of Education, Indiana University

“When I look at the contributions of scholars in the field of education, both literary and otherwise, I immediately think of Bob Kronick and all he has done to further the cause of the community school movement. His new book, Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution, addresses some of society’s worst nightmares. These include educating disadvantaged children in disadvantaged schools. No child should want for any of the services provided for the entitled majority of school aged students. This notwithstanding, there are significant numbers of children who are homeless, come from single parent homes or perhaps live with a grandparent, and on a daily basis, face challenges to their well-being most children only see or hear about on TV. Kronick not only speaks to these many and serious challenges, but provides solutions that have emanated from his many years of conceptualizing, building and implementing community schools. This is a must read for any community leader, teacher, activist and others whose heart and passion are dedicated to the welfare of these children and the communities in which they reside.” - Robert A. Rider, Ph.D., Dean, College of Education, Health, & Human Sciences, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“How refreshing it is to see books li e Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution being written. Given the interconnectedness of urban problems, it seems clear that school reform will not happen in isolation from other urban social institutions, such as universities, city government, supportive service providers, housing authorities, and city and regional private funders. This book will provide insights into how to bring these diverse stakeholders together to build new urban regimes that support a neighborhood- or p/ace-9ased school reform model into the reform discussion within cities. Not only will the book be able to appeal to education scholars and urban scholars alike, but there is a cohort of community-engaged administrators in higher education whose job it is to broker K-12 education partnerships. This book will be part of the call to university faculty, staff, and upper-level administrators to ensure that high r education is more responsive to its local community. Being an active part of the school reform process is one way that universities can make this community engagement a reality. However, few books actually dive deeply into how the university can be involved in such a process. This book will be' a great contribution to the literature. Needless to say, this book has my strong endorsement. Please consider accepting this proposal.” - D. Gavin Luter, PhD, Executive Director, Wisconsin Campus Compact, University of Wisconsin-Extension (Madison, WI)- Host Institution, Faculty Affiliate, Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The power of schools to elevate the lives of disenfranchised children has been well documented. Yet, there are many children who through no fault of their own are consigned to schools whose standard approach to learning fails to optimize their innate intellect. Decades of research affirm that community schools are one effective model supportive of the diverse needs of students in their quest for success. In theory, one would be hard-pressed to find detractors of community schools. Historically the challenge has been providing details of how to create and assess the efficacy of this educational intervention. The "Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution" addresses this void in the literature by providing practical, theoretical and evidenced-based strategies to implement the community school model as a way to meet the needs of school children and their families. Inherent in the rigorous assessment and evaluative strategies provided by the authors lie nuggets that can inform policy makers and educators of the efficacy of the community school model. The authors I have come to their conclusions after years of model immersion and I highly recommend this text to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of community schools in a contemporary context.” - J.W. Richardson, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Center for Global Health Distinguished Scholar, Asst. Director, Community Health Programs & Research Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine

“Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution will be an important book that contributed to the literature on community schools. The inadequacy of schooling is a major roadblock to the regeneration of underdeveloped urban communities. One reason is the multifaceted and intersectional nature of problems confronting children living in these community. The community school project is one of the most important experiments! in educational reform. Such schools, with their focus on service and engagement in the community, is one of best hopes for changing the trajectory in underdeveloped communities. Even so, knowledge about building community schools is limited. Kronick and Basma's proposed manuscript will deepen insight and understanding of the community school project. I fully endorse this project and strongly recommend your acceptance of the book proposal.” - Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning Director, UB Center for Urban Studies

“Bob Kronick’s most recent undertaking effectively combines theory and practice to examine how families, teachers, university faculty and students, and community partners collaborate to reshape the public school experience for students in income-poor neighborhoods. Understanding that raising student success often and necessarily involves addressing family and community limitations, including language barriers, constrained public services, fewer affordable healthy food options, Kronick argues that utilizing a community schools model allows stakeholders to pool community resources, draw on the strengths of community residents to create better outcomes for not only students, but also their families and the community. In Knoxville, Kronick worked with The Haslam Scholars Program, the University of Tennessee’s premier enrichment program, to place scholars at Pond Gap and Inskip Elementary Schools. Sixty of the school’s top students work with elementary students, teachers, parents and local businesses to provide support in the community garden, afterschool tutoring, language instruction, a Lego league and a robotics club, hands-on science activities, and classroom assistance for school teachers. Kronick shows that with strong community support, achievement outcomes improve inside and outside the classroom.” - Sylvia D. Turner, Ph.D., Associate Director, Haslam Scholars Program, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“Kronick and Basma’s book, Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution, is timely as it offers both a theoretically rich and practically grounded perspective on engaging in long-term university-school partnerships. As a former teacher in one of Kronick’s University-Assisted Community School’s after school programs, I am well aware of the need for resources that offer a ‘map’ of and concrete guidance for how to engage effectively in community and school level work. Indeed, this book provides a rich and detailed discussion of how to partner with schools and communities in the joint pursuit of meaningful reform efforts. This book will serve as a useful resource to a variety of stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, community advocates, and academics.” - Jessica Nina Lester, Assistant Professor, Inquiry Methodology, School of Education, Indiana University

“When I look at the contributions of scholars in the field of education, both literary and otherwise, I immediately think of Bob Kronick and all he has done to further the cause of the community school movement. His new book, Wicked Problems and the Community School Solution, addresses some of society’s worst nightmares. These include educating disadvantaged children in disadvantaged schools. No child should want for any of the services provided for the entitled majority of school aged students. This notwithstanding, there are significant numbers of children who are homeless, come from single parent homes or perhaps live with a grandparent, and on a daily basis, face challenges to their well-being most children only see or hear about on TV. Kronick not only speaks to these many and serious challenges, but provides solutions that have emanated from his many years of conceptualizing, building and implementing community schools. This is a must read for any community leader, teacher, activist and others whose heart and passion are dedicated to the welfare of these children and the communities in which they reside.” - Robert A. Rider, Ph.D., Dean, College of Education, Health, & Human Sciences, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Audience: Academics – Higher Ed classes in Education, Sociology and Social Work. School systems – practitioners.

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