Duke Public School Collaboration Published in Community Schooling Journal

Duke and NCCU Collaboration Published in Community Schooling Journal

In the third issue of Community Schooling published by the UCLA Center for Community Schooling, a Bass Connections and Data+  team of students, staff, and faculty from Duke and North Carolina Central University contributed a four-part case study about the community school journey in Durham, NC.  The Durham University-Assisted Community Schools Research Collective has been centering participatory and democratic research methods since 2018. Their work hopes to contribute to the growing body of research and advocacy foundational to the expansion and sustainability of full-service community schools. 

This idea of a community school as a model makes so much sense to me, because the point of a community school model is that the school doesn’t just exist as its own little silo, right? Talking about the whole thing, the whole ecosystem that schools exist in is the point in community schools.”

Michelle Qiou, Duke Student Researcher

As journalists across the country cover community schools as “a growing phenomenon in the educational landscape,” the spotlight is often on wraparound services as a COVID recovery strategy. Yet, in the low-income communities of color hit hardest by the pandemic, the story is as much about power as it is provisions.

“We are going to practice democracy because people need to feel this and understand it.”

Anna Grant, Lakewood Community School Coordinator.

The third issue shares how educators, families and students in Durham, North Carolina embraced their collective agency to take back local public schools in the wake of a state takeover plan. Their work to develop community schools involved both reflection and action, praxis, or what we call public scholarship. A living example of democratic education, the Durham team created space to collectively grapple with big ideas and theories in the context of daily school practice. 

“We learned so much about how to collaborate and how to be objective-focused, how to plan and manage a team properly, how to conduct ourselves in the community effectively, give interviews, and also just the networking opportunities that we had, being with people who have a similar vision for how they want to help their community as well.”

Sabrena Carver-Tchagna, NCCU Student Researcher

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