Who's owning whom and why does it matter? Looking at learning as community development

Year: 2001

Author: Lloyd, Doug, Downey, Tamara

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

What processes occur when students from a large private city school live and learn in a small rural community? This paper documents an educational and social experiment where year nine students from Wesley College in Melbourne spend eight weeks living in a residential learning village in the country town of Clunes. The research focuses on the nature of this school-community partnership and the economic, social and environmental impact of the school on the town. Established in 2000, Wesley College in Clunes is a new community development. Can what was once almost a ghost town become a community rich in learning? Learning communities are seen as a way to a more sustainable future for our communities, especially rural ones (Kilpatrick, 2000). Schools can also be investigated as a way of understanding what is happening in all sectors of rural and remote community life (Sidoti, 2000). Wesley College in Clunes offers a new way of looking at school-community partnerships and the research shows the extent to which the college and community interact and own each other. Moreover, the extent to which this interaction influences the sustainability of Clunes via learning is explored in the research findings.