Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version

Winter 1-24-2022


Zuckerman, S. J. (2022). Beyond the School Walls: Collective Impact in Micropolitan School-Community Partnerships. Peabody Journal of Education. DOI: 10.1080/0161956X.2022.2026724


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Research suggests that the time students spend outside of school, as well as the communities in which they spend it, impact educational outcomes. Inequitable educational outcomes are the result of complex, interdependent problems in the public and private sector, suggesting the need for approaches that bring together schools with other organizations to address problems in the ecological and developmental systems of family, school, out-of-school programs, and communities. Collective impact has gained prominence as a strategy for such cross-sector partnerships. This qualitative study uses a comparative approach to extend knowledge of collective impact into rural and micropolitan communities using civic capacity as a framework. It identifies limitations in mobilization of members and issue framing which suggest a need to reconceptualize collective impact as a political arrangement, rather than an organizational one. The findings suggest the need to engage in community organizing activities to build political capital by confronting social isolation and exclusion among groups, examining power and privilege among community members and developing critical place-based leadership for intergenerational capacity building.