Connecting the dots in public schools: An ecological systems approach to responding to conflict and injustice in local communitiesOverview:
If we consider the problem of urban school violence today, we see complex interactions between poverty, lack of personal opportunity and responsibility, racism, alcohol and other drug use, gangs, inadequate gun control regulation, disinvestments in schools and after-school programs, ineffectual responses from teachers and school officials, family and media violence and poor social skills. We take an ecological approach to working with violence in school communities: working in partnership with other providers to offer a constellation of services to the school and its community. We use participatory action research (PAR) as a means of ensuring all stakeholder voices are heard and integrated and as a way to document progress as we move forward. We write collectively about these experiences to share our learning with other organizations.