An ethnography of community leadership through community-based community education

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Roudebush, Deborah May
McElhinney, James H.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Educational Leadership
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The purposes of the study were: 1) To describe important characteristics of an ongoing, viable "community-based" community education project, 2) to determine whether the critical-principles postulated at the beginning of the study would be illustrated by considering a community-based community education project in one community, and 3) to describe the leadership behaviors utilized in a successful community-based community education project, and 4) to generate hypotheses for future research studies in community education.The data were collected and analyzed using a modified version of Spradley's Developmental Research Sequence Writing methodology, including interviewing participant observation, supplemented with document analysis and surveys.Eight of nine postulated critical principles were present in the organization studied. A partial listing of proposed hypotheses follows:1. The general principles, values, and leadership actions outlined in the agency summary can be successfully transplanted to another community.2. The director of a successful community-based community education agency must be good at controlling the flow of information, adept at negotiating, and politically persuasive.3. A tax levy is a sound, stable means for providing primary local financial support.4. The non-profit corporation is an effective structure capable of building on the resources of the major political bodies (the city council, the public school board, and the township trustees) while maintaining integrity in decision making and service provision.5. The political bodies, the people of the community, and the businesses and community organizations must all be represented in the governing body of a commuity-based community education organization.6. Detailed procedures and policies play a critical role in bridging the transition period when a new director is hired.