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Building Community Schools P (Jossey-Bass Education) Paperback – 3 Sep 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; New edition edition (3 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787950440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787950446
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 676,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Sergiovanni documents cases of schools that have successfully reinvented themselves in order to establish a sense of ′community′ as the foundation for all curriculum and instruction decisions. . . . Teachers, administrators, teacher educators, and communities seeking advice and motivation for restructuring schools for the 21st century would be well advised to consult this work." ––Choice

"Provides the practitioner with both a theoretical blueprint with which to build learning communities and a rich supply of benchmark illustrations to use as prototypes. . . . Thought–provoking and challenging." ––NASSP Bulletin

"Sergiovanni is the leading writer in pushing us deeper and deeper toward understanding and creating a ′community of learners.′" ––Michael Fullan, dean of education, University of Toronto

"Sergiovanni does not just extol the virtues of educational communities. Through rich and vivid portraits, he conveys what they are like and how we might create them." ––Howard Gardner, professor of education and co–director of Project Zero, Harvard University

From the Publisher

Vito Perrone, Graduate School of Education, Harvard, states:
"Few educators are as consistently thoughtful in word and deed as Tom Sergiovanni. In this new book, Tom brings us back to the importance of face-to-face communities of educators who join together on behalf of students. And, importantly, he provides us with examples of what such communities mean in practice. This is a wonderful book." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Hardcover
This book is in use in EDAD programs in Texas and elsewhere throughout the country. The main thrust of Sergiovanni's argument is that schools must create a "community of learners" in order to successfully meet the needs of their students. Rather than give this notion common lip service, Sergiovanni details explicit plans for incorporating an authentic community of learners vision into the campus culture. For teachers, school administrators, and others concerned about education, this book is essential reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read, very thought-provoking.
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Excellent
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent prescription for building learning communities 30 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is in use in EDAD programs in Texas and elsewhere throughout the country. The main thrust of Sergiovanni's argument is that schools must create a "community of learners" in order to successfully meet the needs of their students. Rather than give this notion common lip service, Sergiovanni details explicit plans for incorporating an authentic community of learners vision into the campus culture. For teachers, school administrators, and others concerned about education, this book is essential reading.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Community Thought-Provoking 10 Mar. 2003
By Andrew A. Hoover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the preface to this book, a delectable mix of philosophy, theory, and stories from the field, Thomas Sergiovanni states that the primary source of the seeming hopeless efforts to improve our schools "is the loss of community in our schools and in society itself." (p.xi) Effective school improvement efforts, whether they focus on curriculum, teaching, governing structures, teacher and parent empowerment, or assessment, must begin with community building. To this endeavor, Sergiovanni has contributed his book. His argumentis that change-oriented educators must begin to think of schools less as formal organizations and more as communities. By drawing on the communal nature of schooling, "purposeful" school communities can be built through professional relationships, the classroom, and the curriculum.
Sergiovanni argues that in communities, individuals create their "social lives with others who have intentions similar to ours." (p.4) In formal organizations, relationships are constructed for us, rather than by us. This essential difference means that schools have not looked enough to solve problems through internal relationships and have relied too much on external variables. (Sergiovanni does a nice job of contrasting Tonnies theories of gesellschaft -- secular society -- and gemeinshaft -- sacred community.) To improve schools, we must begin to see them as networks of local, interdependent relationships: a community with a sacred mission to nurture and teach each other how to live. Central to the notion of community is relationships. Sergiovanni argues that the character of all relationships is a function of the values of the individuals involved. These values (he discusses seven) are expressed through the core relationships in a school (teacher-student, teacher-teacher, administrator-teacher) and reflect either a community or an organizational orientation to those relationships. Drawing principally from Durkheim's theory of needs, Sergiovanni argues that people have a basic need to belong. Connectedness is achieved through group mores, values, goals, and norms. When a school's values have a community orientation, individuals develop attachment and commitment to each other and in so doing they are more fulfilled and successful. When a school's values have an organizational orientation, individuals become alienated and are less successful and fulfilled.
Sergiovanni argues that school communities can take a variety forms. Whatever form they assume, they must first have purpose. "They must become places where members have developed a community of mind that bonds them together in special ways and binds them to a shared ideology." (p.72) This collective sense of purpose at once nurtures and reflects community values and provides the individuals in the school with a sense of belonging. In this way, Sergiovanni makes a clear case for the need for schools to develop their own cultures through continuous dialogue about mission, vision, values, goals, and group processes - all significant problems and issues for the organizational specialist.
Through conversations about curriculum and teaching, community and culture can be built. Sergiovanni argues for the importance of an "educational platform" through which schools agree on, among other things, the aims of education, what students will achieve, the social significance of students' learning, and images of the learner, the teacher, and the curriculum. Platforms should be sufficiently detailed to provide guidance (requiring discipline to respect and support), yet open enough to allow individuals to retain a sense of autonomy (requiring discretion to apply). Likewise, community and culture are built through the everyday interactions in the classroom. Classrooms are microcosms of society. In a democratic society, community is nurtured through citizenship. Classrooms should be places where students have responsibility and freedom. Most importantly, classrooms should provide students a place to belong, opportunities to succeed and realize their autonomy, and to learn the nature of generosity. Schools that build their "community of mind" from within will find that the curriculum and teaching will be natural outlets for expressing and reproducing their community-oriented values.
Through the practice of educating based on community values, schools develop a professional community. Drawing from Barth and others, Sergiovanni argues that this professional community defines itself by its ability to improve, to develop its culture, and to create an environment that is most conducive to learning for both adults and children. In other words, in a purposeful school community people care about each other enough that they take their mutual obligations seriously (to care for each other and to learn from and teach each other). Communities of learners are built on the spirit of inquiry, which emerges in school cultures that constantly question, "Who are we and what are we trying to accomplish?" Leadership in purposeful, learning communities is diffuse. It is defined not by the power over people or events, but by the "power to accomplish shared goals". (p.170) For any educator who cares deeply about teaching, people, and schools, Sergiovanni's work provides plenty of opportunities for reflection and innumerable examples of schools that have built community into their cultures.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! 24 April 2006
By Alain G. Harvey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the preface to this book, a delectable mix of philosophy, theory, and stories from the field, Thomas Sergiovanni states that the primary source of the seeming hopeless efforts to improve our schools "is the loss of community in our schools and in society itself." (p.xi)Effective school improvement efforts, whether they focus on curriculum, teaching, governing structures, teacher and parent empowerment, or assessment, must begin with community building.To this endeavor, Sergiovanni has contributed his book.His argumentis that change-oriented educators must begin to think of schools less as formal organizations and more as communities.By drawing on the communal nature of schooling, "purposeful" school communities can be built through professional relationships, the classroom, and the curriculum.

Sergiovanni argues that in communities, individuals create their "social lives with others who have intentions similar to ours." (p.4) In formal organizations, relationships are constructed for us, rather than by us. This essential difference means that schools have not looked enough to solve problems through internal relationships and have relied too much on external variables. (Sergiovanni does a nice job of contrasting Tonnies theories of gesellschaft -- secular society -- and gemeinshaft -- sacred community.)To improve schools, we must begin to see them as networks of local, interdependent relationships: a community with a sacred mission to nurture and teach each other how to live. Central to the notion of community is relationships. Sergiovanni argues that the character of all relationships is a function of the values of the individuals involved. These values (he discusses seven) are expressed through the core relationships in a school (teacher-student, teacher-teacher, administrator-teacher) and reflect either a community or an organizational orientation to those relationships.Drawing principally from Durkheim's theory of needs, Sergiovanni argues that people have a basic need to belong.Connectedness is achieved through group mores, values, goals, and norms.When a school's values have a community orientation, individuals develop attachment and commitment to each other and in so doing they are more fulfilled and successful.When a school's values have an organizational orientation, individuals become alienated and are less successful and fulfilled.

Sergiovanni argues that school communities can take a variety forms.Whatever form they assume, they must first have purpose. "They must become places where members have developed a community of mind that bonds them together in special ways and binds them to a shared ideology." (p.72) This collective sense of purpose at once nurtures and reflects community values and provides the individuals in the school with a sense of belonging.In this way, Sergiovanni makes a clear case for the need for schools to develop their own cultures through continuous dialogue about mission, vision, values, goals, and group processes - all significant problems and issues for the organizational specialist.

Through conversations about curriculum and teaching, community and culture can be built.Sergiovanni argues for the importance of an "educational platform" through which schools agree on, among other things, the aims of education, what students will achieve, the social significance of students' learning, and images of the learner, the teacher, and the curriculum. Platforms should be sufficiently detailed to provide guidance (requiring discipline to respect and support), yet open enough to allow individuals to retain a sense of autonomy (requiring discretion to apply). Likewise, community and culture are built through the everyday interactions in the classroom.Classrooms are microcosms of society.In a democratic society, community is nurtured through citizenship.Classrooms should be places where students have responsibility and freedom.Most importantly, classrooms should provide students a place to belong, opportunities to succeed and realize their autonomy, and to learn the nature of generosity.Schools that build their "community of mind" from within will find that the curriculum and teaching will be natural outlets for expressing and reproducing their community-oriented values.

Through the practice of educating based on community values, schools develop a professional community.Drawing from Barth and others, Sergiovanni argues that this professional community defines itself by its ability to improve, to develop its culture, and to create an environment that is most conducive to learning for both adults and children. In other words, in a purposeful school community people care about each other enough that they take their mutual obligations seriously (to care for each other and to learn from and teach each other).Communities of learners are built on the spirit of inquiry, which emerges in school cultures that constantly question, "Who are we and what are we trying to accomplish?"Leadership in purposeful, learning communities is diffuse. It is defined not by the power over people or events, but by the "power to accomplish shared goals". (p.170)For any educator who cares deeply about teaching, people, and schools, Sergiovanni's work provides plenty of opportunities for reflection and innumerable examples of schools that have built community into their cultures.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay as a textbook... 28 Dec. 2001
By Kimberly Bondy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had the opportunity to read this book for one of the courses in master's degree program. It starts off extremely slow! As you get a little further into the book, it becomes more palatable and more interesting. The author brings up some interesting points and did make me rethink my views as a teacher.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good once you get into it 2 April 2014
By Evelyn Mendez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Its a little dense but has a good message. Overall a decent read and good for building community. I'm happy with it.
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