Nalyze the Sociological Contexts of Economics, Influence, and Power

Section 1: Understanding Your Community

Course Resources
The Resources area for this course contains a variety of reference materials that will help you to complete thecourse activities. It is suggested that you become familiar with these resources before you begin the activities.

Library
References used for research need to be peer reviewed/scholarly journals, which can be found by searching theNorthcentral University Library databases. These journals typically have the following characteristics:
a?Articles are reviewed by a panel of experts before they are accepted for publication.
a?Articles are written by a scholar or specialist in the field.
a?Articles report on original research or experimentation.
a?Articles are often published by professional associations.
a?Articles utilize terminology associated with the discipline.
Information literacy is a set of skills that help you to find and appropriately apply information. The NorthcentralUniversity Library has developed a tutorial based on the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) Information Literacy Standards and is intended to raise awareness on how one effectively interacts with information. Review the Information Literacy Tutorial to become familiar with information literacy at Northcentral.

Writing Center
Northcentral values your progress and success as a scholarly writer. Please access the Writing Center from your student home page to see a wide variety of writing tips and examples to help you as you compose written submissions for this and other Northcentral courses.

The Writing Center also contracts with SmartThinking, an online 24/7 tutoring service that offers assistance in mathematics, statistics, finance, and writing. You can contact SmartThinking from the home page of the WritingCenter.
Introduction
The value that educational leaders place on learning and knowledge is directly communicated to children, and to the adults in the school community, through interactions around the students. For example, teachers can use the classroom to teach the values and attitudes of the community. When education leaders are residents of the communities where they work, those relationships can be further enriched and deepened as they assume responsibility for the well-being and success of the children in their communities.

Educational leaders have a responsibility to open lines of communication to families and other members of the community. They are often called on to interact with families and their communities in myriad ways which can include, but are not limited to: showcasing student work, initiating field trips, managing co-curricular or extra-curricular activities, discussing student progress with parents, inviting community experts to schools or educational agencies, seeking various forms of assistance from the community, and gathering volunteers for various school-related activities. In this section, and throughout this course, you will be learning how to build successful school-community relationships to help your students succeed.

Learning from Practice
Many rural and urban communities are facing challenges recruiting and keeping highly effective teachers for K-12 district schools. Watch the video to see how the Hertford County, NC, public schools solved this problem with an initiative that provides an example of how schools can benefit when the business community becomes involved in providing an innovative, practical solution to a problem.

Required Reading:

Please look at each Activity for specific Activity Resources.

Assignment 2 Activity 2: Analyzing Sociological Contexts
Demographic data drawn from a sociological inventory can be invaluable to educational leaders when making decisions, especially those pertinent to short-range or long-range planning and committing financial resources. Demographic data considered in tandem with community economic trend data and knowledge of influential people or groups within the community further strengthen the practical platform upon which to base visionary decisions.

Completion of this assignment requires you to submit the assignment as you typically would in the course as well as in the Taskstream system. The Taskstream submission is a grade requirement and is due at the same time as the course submission.

For specific assignments you will be asked to post your work into Taskstream. These assignments are part of our assessment process. Your instructor will use the rubric to score your work and then use the information to inform your grade; meaning it will be part but not all of the information your instructor uses to evaluate your work. The rubric provides a clear connection between expectations (Program Goals, Learning outcomes, ISLLC standards) and your work as a student. Grading the paper provides an opportunity to support the student in their learning journey. If you have questions please contact your instructor.

Activity Resources
a?No additional readings this week; you will be reading on-line sources.
Assignment Preparation:

Economic considerations pertinent to the community and the ability of community groups to influence school-focused decisions directly impact the communityas schools and the sociological demographics of the community. For example, many western towns previously depended on the railroad, mining, and logging for their very lifeblood. Railroad beds have turned into biking paths. Mines have closed leading to initial unemployment followed by changes in the kinds of jobs held by community members. Logging has many restrictions that make it far less attractive and lucrative than in the past. In addition, well-funded environmental protection groups have, in some instances, voice strong opposition to traditional mining or logging practices.

Think about what economic issues, vestiges of influence, and sources of political power do you observe in the community in which you are employed or in which you currently reside?

Investigate the economic and political history of the community in which you currently work or live by:a.consulting on-line news articles,
b.requesting information from the local Chamber of Commerce (if the community upon which you are focusing has a Chamber of Commerce), and
c.talking with community members who have belonged to the community longer than you have.
Assignment: Analyze the Sociological Contexts of Economics, Influence, and Power
Write a short paper addressing the following questions:1.What industries or businesses are new to the community in the last 5-10 years?
2.What services or industries, if any, used to be provided locally but have been outsourced?
3.Have layoffs or unemployment issues affected your community and, if so, in what ways?
4.How have these changes impacted the economic health of the school district?
5.What community groups promote the education of young people in your community and what are the specific or special interests driving these groupsa interests in education? (For example, the two main United States political parties and the League of Women Voters are three groups interested in getting voters to the polls but their underlying reasons for doing so are quite different.)
6.Are there additional community groups, including special interest groups, whose stated purpose is not related to education but whose members dominate local school politics and, if so, what are these groups and are there particular issues of interest to members?
7.Referencing the types described in Bagin, D., Gallagher, D.R., & Moore, E.H. (2012). School and Community Relations.

Guidelines for Writing The Sociological Context Analysis Paper

a?Include an APA-format cover page.Review APA Form & Style

a?The paper will be 5-7 double-spaced pages in length, using 12-point Times New Roman font. The cover page and reference list are not included in this page count.
a?Address all seven questions.
a?Conclude your paper in one of two ways. Either:a.give an example of how a better understanding of economics, influence, and power has helped you to better understand one or more actions taken or