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Schools as community assets: An exploration of the merits of an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach

FORRESTER, Gillian, KURTH, Judy, VINCENT, Penny and Oliver, Mike (2018) Schools as community assets: An exploration of the merits of an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach. Educational Review. ISSN 0013-1911

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Abstract or description

This paper describes and evaluates the ‘Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) in Schools’ project; which was designed as a public health intervention to explore the extent to which focusing on schools as community assets can promote well-being for pupils, their school and the local community. The paper reviews the literature in relation to the background and context of the ABCD model within the field of community development where the focus is identifying and mobilising the positive capabilities, skills, talents and strengths of individuals, associations and communities in order to bring about social change. As such, this project was established using the principles of ABCD. It was designed to ascertain the extent to which ABCD could be feasibly utilised in the school environment and to explore its possibilities in terms of being a force for change. The project piloted two practical pupil-led ABCD initiatives to develop the life-skills, resilience, well-being and future employability of the pupils involved. This ABCD project focused on Year 9 pupils in the foundation learning tier in two secondary academies and also involved, as mentors, undergraduate students from two local universities. The location for the project is a city in the North Midlands of England which experiences areas of high levels of socio-economic disadvantage. Following a rationale for the project and description of the two initiatives which evolved, we highlight the lessons learned and suggest the ABCD approach can be regarded as promising practice for any (school) community.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Academic Development Unit
Depositing User: Penny VINCENT
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2019 11:15
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2019 11:15

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