International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Vignettes of a Caring Culture in an Urban School
Patricia M. Nugent, Heljä Antola Crowe, Valeria Evens-Pierce

Significant numbers of urban schools have been struggling with special challenges. This project concentrated on the development of school culture in an inner city Midwestern college town in the United States. Due to failing state examination scores the school was restructured. Through specific Professional Development School activities student learning was supported. Working within the PDS partnership at the highly challenged secondary school, a needs assessment provided the impetus to develop experiential school climate and college preparation brain-based and communications’ oriented learning opportunities. Through multiple approaches encouraged by grounded theory methodology, the changing of an urban school’s culture was scrutinized. The anchors of a caring culture that were investigated included developing nurturing relationships; listening to and involving stakeholders; and planning for specific individual learning experiences. Important factors included school culture and reflective practices. Caring vs. control well describes the continuum that challenged the urban school environment and the personnel working within the school.

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