American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, 3(2), 126-136
DOI: 10.12691/education-3-2-4
Open AccessArticle

Enhancing Student Achievement: School and Community Learning Partnership

Tony Trinick1,

1The University of Auckland Barbara Alaalatoa, Sylvia Park School Ariana Williams, Mutukaroa

Pub. Date: February 01, 2015

Cite this paper:
Tony Trinick. Enhancing Student Achievement: School and Community Learning Partnership. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(2):126-136. doi: 10.12691/education-3-2-4

Abstract

In Aotearoa/New Zealand, there has been considerable disparity in student achievement between Māori (indigenous people of NZ) and Pasifika students and their European peers. Initially, the cause of this underachievement was generally attributed to a lack of parental interest in schooling. Therefore, many schools in New Zealand, particularly those with diverse communities, have been grappling with the challenge of engaging constructively with families for a number of years. Despite the best of intentions, many of the home/school partnership initiatives have failed to positively affect student achievement. Nonetheless, there are success stories. This paper reports on a successful home/school partnership project, Mutukaroa, initiated by Sylvia Park School in 2010 in consultation with its local school community. The elements that make up the intervention and the results are discussed. The research used a quasi-experimental design to investigate cause and effect relationships. The qualitative data indicates that parents and community members have developed very positive relationships with project team members and the school. Parents feel much more confident engaging in discussions with the teacher about their child’s learning and feel more capable of supporting learning at home. The longitudinal student achievement data in literacy show very positive longitudinal trends. The outstanding results of the initiative compelled the Ministry of Education to fund an expansion and adaptation of the Mutukaroa model into another 100 schools throughout New Zealand. The principal (Mrs. Alaalatoa) and project director (Ms. Williams) have had important leadership roles in the efforts to expand a localised grassroots initiative into a large-scale state education initiative. This paper discusses, from their perspective, the success and challenges of implementing the Mutukaroa model into different contexts with a variety of agencies involved.

Keywords:
student achievement partnership

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