We are going to integrate community, identity and design into school setting. Some essential components are here: students, administrators, teachers and school atmosphere. Here are two papers regarding to this topic: "What Is a School Community, Anyway?",written by Sam Redding, and "Schools as Learning Communities: A Vision for Organic School Reform", written by Diana B. Hiatt-Michael.
In the first paper, the author considers "community" as a feeling of warmth and joy, which gives rise to thoughts of mutuality, camaraderie, and trust. A school community is an assemblage of the people intimately attached to each other, including teachers, administrators, students, and students' families. He pulled into diffirent definitions of school community, such as Frank Belcastro's calling upon the PTA to serve as a broker of community-building efforts in the school; or Samuel Peng's drawing the public library into school community orbit, etc.
On the basis of three constructs: a) the school as a community b) the school in the community and c) the school and the community, the author pulls into different researchers' lens and considers the school as a) a community, b) an entity within larger sets of communities, and c) inclusive of smaller communities within itself.
The second paper is based on school reform because of the awareness of changing students' learning community to a wider globalization one. The paper address the qualities of a learning organization and educational leaders' tasks, changing the goals of the organization and promoting school as a learning community so that learning could become a lifelong endeavor and is rewarded for all participants.
The autuor uses many references to develop his vision. One is from Wenger (1999) that workers function most effectively as communities of practice, which focuses on the environment that fasters learning and change by each member of the community, operating in an open and interdependent work environment (p.115).
In addition, Hiatt-Michael proposes four essential elements for a learning community and describes in detail with two examples: a servant leader, a shared moral purpose, a sense of trust and respect among all members and an open environment for collaborative decision-making.
Also he categorizes the ways to create a learning community into three phases via some detailed examples: a) encompassing moral purpose of the organization, b) creating an open work environment and c) evaluation of efforts. Finally he states that decentralization is a key to a school becoming a learning community, which must be a win-win situation for all involved.