COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS: A GROUNDED THEORY TO UNDERSTAND IN-SERVICE TEACHERS’ PRACTICES
Keywords:community engagement, in-service teachers, community approach, grounded theory
This exploratory study is guided by the underlying importance of in-service teacher practices in the development of students’ community engagement. The main objective is to highlight, describe and understand the role of teachers in the development of community engagement by employing the Grounded Theory methodology. Thirty teachers from urban areas and with at least five years of experience were interviewed to investigate their perspective, approach and practices in promoting community engagement in school settings. The Grounded Theory method was employed in order to develop a descriptive model of the role of teachers in the community engagement development process. Following the open, axial and selective coding process, a theoretical explanation of the process emerged that highlights the pre-conditions of promoting community engagement, conceptualizes the phenomenon, and displays the challenges and educational practices employed. Several categories and sub-categories of the process elements were identified and illustrated by qualitative data. Further, the educational implications of the findings are thoroughly discussed.
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