Publication details for Dr Richard RemediosRemedios, R. & Allan, J.A. (2006). New Community Schools and the measurement of transformation. International Journal of Inclusive Education 10(6): 615-625.
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
Author(s) from Durham
The New Community Schools initiative was introduced in Scotland in 1998 with the aims of improving participation, raising achievement, improving health and transforming communities. The success of the initiative was evaluated in terms of the stated aims. In relation to improving participation and raising achievement, this was straightforward: improved participation was measured by the number of community activities and the number of individuals who became involved in these activities, whilst raised achievement was measured against tangible targets such as educational attainment and school attendance. The third outcome, the transformation of communities, was more complex: what was meant by transformation and how could it be evaluated? This paper draws on research undertaken by the Institute of Education, University of Stirling, UK, during a 2‐year evaluation period. During this period, the researchers found that individuals were developing more than just a means of communicating across different boundaries; individuals were acquiring a connectedness between one another and that this connectedness was crucial to the success of the subsequent communication and to the initiative more generally. In exploring this concept of connectedness, we consider the literature on social capital. We then consider how issues of trust and inter-subjectivity underpin connectedness and highlight the evidence from our work that appears to correspond with these elements of connectedness. It is argued that connectedness may not only mediate outcomes such as improving participation, but also that they can be seen as valuable outcomes in themselves. Our final thoughts in this paper consider the kind of research that might be useful to explore the role of connectedness in relation to studying contexts in which individuals may have competing agendas.