The effects of community mapping process on teachers' perceptions of their schools' communities
Teachers and administrators must identify with issues concerning their schools' neighborhood. Educational reform begins with good communication and awareness of the stakeholders in the school's community. The purpose of this study was to determine if community mapping affected teacher, student-teacher, and administrative perceptions of the community immediately surrounding their schools. This research was a mixed method design which included both quantitative and qualitative assessments in the form of surveys and reflection information. The immediate neighborhoods surrounding the schools were mapped by the teachers, student-teachers, and administrators at Lenoir City, Sweetwater, and Alcoa Elementary Schools in the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area. A total of 87 teachers and student-teachers and 3 principals were involved in the mapping process. The mapping project placed the educators in communities surrounding their schools. The teachers were placed in groups of five or six members, and collected data such as photographs, neighborhood layouts, and interviews from community members. The educators were pre-surveyed at least two weeks before the actual mapping took place. Post surveys were taken after the mapping process was completed. Five null hypotheses were tested to investigate if there was a change in teacher or student-teacher perception following a community mapping project. The results of the data analysis indicated a change in teacher and student-teacher perception after the community mapping process was completed. Teacher reflection sheets finished the mapping process and provided qualitative data for analysis. Conclusions of the study focused on the need for more professional training to assist teachers, student-teachers, and principals in making connections between the community and the school. The information gathered from the community could assist them in making connections between the required state curricula and how to properly deliver it in the classroom. The recommendations emphasize the importance of ongoing research to further document teacher, student-teacher, and administrator perceptions and the use of the tools necessary for future research to document effectiveness.
Patricia L Jones,
"The effects of community mapping process on teachers' perceptions of their schools' communities"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.