Community, Coherence, and Inclusiveness

  • Kenneth A. Strike
Part of the Studies in Educational Leadership book series (SIEL, volume 1)


This paper develops a theory of schools as communities. It argues that the key to a school that is a community is that such schools are rooted in something I call a Shared Educational Project. An SEP is a constitutive vision of the nature of a good education that involves public ends requiring cooperation to achieve. An SEP also generates a conception of the roles to be played by various actors in the school, grounds instructional practice, and informs governance. An SEP also is important in securing what I call the goods of community such as trust, cooperation, belonging and mutual identification. The liability of such communities is that full membership in the community is predicated on agreeing with the SEP. Since the SEP will be rooted in a “thick” conception of human flourishing, agreement cannot be imposed. Hence such communities cannot be fully inclusive and should be formed through free association. I provide examples of several models of such school communities. I also discuss two models of what I call quasi communities. Quasi communities do not have an SEP; however, they may have shared views of good educating (rather than good education), may have a strong commitment to justice, caring and inclusiveness, and may have informal, non-bureaucratic organization forms. I argue that quasi communities may also produce some of the goods of community, and they may be more fully inclusive. Regardless, there are reasons to suppose that they will not be stable and that they will be less successful in generating the goods of community than will schools grounded in an SEP.


Good Education School Community Free Association Catholic School Comprehensive Doctrine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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  • Kenneth A. Strike

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