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Community Asset Mapping Project Essay


Introduction

What is Community Asset Mapping?

The phenomenon of the community asset mapping is typically defined as “an important tool for building community, for understanding community strengths and assets, and for sustaining economic viability” (McIntosh, 2011, p. 261) and serves the purpose of identifying the key problems that the community in question has at the moment as well as location the avenues for addressing these problems in a manner as efficient and expeditious as possible (Etmanski, Hall, & Dawson, 2014).

National Trends and Policies

Among the key national trends, the one regarding the diversification of schools needs to be brought up (Katz, 2012). The specified factor affects the design of teaching approaches, as it presupposes that teachers have to work in diverse settings. Therefore, the cultural, linguistic and social specifics of students are to be taken into account.

Importance for School Administrators to Understand Community Assets

The significance of community assets for school administrators can hardly be overrated. By locating the resources that they have at their disposal and that they can use to the benefit of all stakeholders involved, school administrators can address the emerging issues within the shortest amount of time and with high efficacy rates.

Moreover, community assets promote the further creation of a sustainable environment, in which a reasonable allocation of resources becomes a possibility and in which the existing risks are identified and prevented successfully. In other words, the failure to locate community assets may result in the disruption of the vital processes that the school as a community depends on.

Description of School and Community

Description of School

Seeing that the community is represented by a variety of ethnicities, as well as people from different walks of life, the school can also be described as a rather diverse environment. The students, who attend the school, have a certain degree of success in their academic life, as well as their problems in certain areas. While some students excel in their studies to an impressive degree, others fail due to multiple factors, primarily, their family and health background.

Speaking of which, the issues that students with the specified problems typically have in the school setting should be brought up. Three students diagnosed with autism of different degrees of severity attend school; because of their condition, they require a different teaching approach, yet the instructors

Description of Community Asset Mapping Team Members

Among the key stakeholders of the community asset mapping process, the students and their parents deserve to be mentioned first. Seeing that the strategies in question are going to be implemented in the educational setting, it is only reasonable to assume that learners are going to be the essential team members. The specified group is quite diverse; it includes people aged 5 to 18.

Apart from students, parents will also have to be taken into account when designing a new teaching strategy. Seeing that the education process does not end at school and can be viewed as a continuous process that should occur even as the student engages in other activities in their home environment, it is crucial that parents should be aware of the new teaching strategy and should not disrupt the learning process.

Therefore, the education of parents should also take part in the process of altering the teaching strategy and be considered the stakeholders of the process. In other words, they can be viewed as team members and should be treated as such in the course of altering the teaching strategy.

Finally, the instructors need to be mentioned as the team members. The role of instructors is going to be rather complicated, as the teachers will have to assume the responsibilities of not only educators but also leaders, providing students with guidance, support and counseling as well as inspiring them for further academic accomplishments (Zhan, Solmon, & Gu, 2014).

A closer look at the community in question will reveal that the bond between family members is very strong in it. Therefore, it is assumed that learners will receive enough support at home. Since the appreciation and support of family members is extremely crucial for students in their academic life, as a recent study shows (Hart, 2012), the family factor in the target community can be characterized as rather positive.

The teachers at the school can also be viewed as a rather valuable asset, as they possess impressive skills and have a significant amount of enthusiasm for excelling in their performance.

Description of Community

The community under analysis can be defined as rather diverse. It is represented by a variety of ethnicities and the representatives of various religious beliefs as well as different social backgrounds. On the one hand, the phenomenon such as diversity can be deemed as a fairly positive characteristic of the community, as it allows for creating premises for equality. On the other hand, diversity means the necessity for an instructor to adapt the teaching strategy to the specific needs of these diverse learners.

School’s Current Resources

Current Resources

As far as the financial resources are concerned, at present, the school has a $250,000 budget, which is to be distributed among its departments in a reasonable and sustainable manner. The human resources of the school make around 200 people, including teachers and administrators. Last, but not least, the fact that the school is equipped with computers and the related information technology tools required for providing students with the necessary information and training their skills successfully.

Current Relationships with Community and Outside Stakeholders

Despite the fact that the current relationships with the community and its members can be defined as fairly positive, there is an obvious need to promote changes in the specified environment due to the recent issues within the target environment. Particularly, the fact that the local PTA does not agree with the approach that teachers adopt to advance early learners deserves to be mentioned.

Description of Area(s) of Concern

Needs Assessment

As it has been stressed above, there is a strong possibility that the educators in the specified school do not take the needs of all students into account when teaching students.

Particularly, the fact that the teachers do not adopt a specific approach when communicating with early learners deserves to be brought up. The uniform approach, which teachers assume, affects both the performance and the motivation rates of the students in question, therefore, jeopardizing their further chances to succeed in their studies and make any academic progress (Horwitz, 2014).

The needs of the learners, therefore, involve the application of the teaching strategies that could be appropriate for the learners’ age and background knowledge. Additionally, the learners need that the teachers should play the roles of not only instructors and educators, but also inspirers and the

Potential Community Assets

Individuals

It would be wrong to assume that the community can acquire no other assets apart from the ones that it already has. Quite on the contrary, being comparatively young and still developing, it may change drastically within the next few years.

Organizations

For the project to be implemented successfully and the goals to be attained, the members will have to use the support of the local organizations as well. Seeing that the issues concerning the students, who are unable to adapt to the classroom environment due to the cultural issues, are characteristic of the environment in question, the local organizations that provide support for people of different cultures need to be contacted.

Additionally, the corresponding healthcare organizations may also be useful for the school teachers, as a range of students have developmental issues, as it has been stressed above.

Local Businesses & Corporations

The school also needs to seek local businesses and corporations, which may become partners and provide the school with the inventory necessary for successful education. Particularly, the information technology tools need to be acquired. In addition, the security of the facility will have to be enhanced so that the learners could feel safe. Therefore, the corporations and SMEs that provide the corresponding services should be contacted.

Recommendations and Action Plan to Promote Community & Parental Involvement

To attain the goals listed above, the school community will have to carry out the following steps:

  1. Raising awareness regarding the issue among parents and instructing them to encourage their children to learn;
  2. Conducting the assessment of learners, thus, locating the key issues to address;
  3. Developing a coherent teaching strategy that can be applied in diverse setting and can be used to approach students with different backgrounds;
  4. Gain the support of the local organizations that will provide the necessary inventory and information concerning the possible changes in the teaching strategies;
  5. Acquiring the inventory that will be used to enhance the learning process;
  6. Carrying out the lessons;
  7. Gathering feedback from students and parents;
  8. Conducting an assessment of the students’ progress;
  9. Comparing the results of the two assessments;
  10. Retrieving the data that will inform the further teaching strategy development.

Reference List

Etmanski, C., Hall, B. L., & Dawson, T. (2014). Learning and teaching community-based research: Linking pedagogy to practice. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

Hart, C. (2012). Factors associated with student persistence in an online program of study: A review of the literature. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 11(1), 19-42.

Horwitz, E. K. (2014). Becoming a language teacher: A practical guide to second language learning and teaching. The CATESOL Journal, 25(1), 163–192.

Katz, J. (2012). Teaching to diversity: The three-block model of universal design for living. Winnipeg, Canada: Portage & Main Press.

McIntosh, J. (2011). Library and information science: Parameters and perspectives. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.

Zhan, T., Solmon, M. A., & Gu, X. (2014). The Role of teachers’ support in predicting students’ motivation and achievement outcomes in physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 31(4), 329–343.

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IvyPanda. "Community Asset Mapping Project." June 3, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/community-asset-mapping-project/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Community Asset Mapping Project." June 3, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/community-asset-mapping-project/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Community Asset Mapping Project'. 3 June.

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