This paper approaches a problem of great interest for the sciences of education in the context of the accentuated changes in the contemporary society. This paper brings back to the sciences of education field, in a systematic and complex manner, the problematic of the relationship between school and community. It addresses all those who are interested in education: teachers, parents, representatives of local authorities, of medical units, of economic agents, of non-governmental organizations etc.
The paper is structured in four parts, each one of these parts representing a distinct chapter.
The first part SCHOOL AND THE SOCIAL CONTEXT intends to clarify the social roles of the school, to place the school in the community context it functions in, to delimit the concepts used in the problematic approached. The second part SCHOOL AND ITS PARTNERS approaches, in a descriptive and interpretive manner, the partnership between school and the main community agents identified: parents, local authorities, police, church, medical units, economic agents, non-governmental organizations. The third part EDUCATION AND THE EXTENSION OF THE EDUCATIONAL FIELD analyzes the way in which the three main forms of education: formal, non-formal and informal interact and create the necessary space for the educational partnership to manifest. The fourth part SCHOOL AND LOCAL DEVELOPMENT analyzes the aspects that make the local development of the school possible, the decentralization as premise of partnership, the factors of the community development, and the models of community development.
Today we assist at the development of a real current of ideas and action, centered on the community and its development. Approaching the aspects related to school and community is validated by the actual tendencies of expanding the educational field from the school organization to other educational agents.
On one hand, school is an institution that offers a social service, being directly influenced by what happens in the social environment, passes on knowledge, develops abilities, norms, socially recognised and accepted values; on the other hand, it has an internal development logic, it reproduces its own norms and values, has its own system of organization. It is essential today to identify the common points in the values passed on by school and community agents, as well as the common development points in view of increasing the education level of community actors (students, parents, different social categories etc.).
School is one of the central institutions in a community, it has specific roles but cannot function or develop if it does not take into account the specific of the community it functions in, which, in its turn, is composed of several factors that have an educational role: family, authorities, governmental and non-governmental organizations, economic agents, church, cultural institutions, medical units etc. having, in their turn, an explicit and/or implicit educational offer. The school organizations are thus subjected to the pressure of a complex of factors: of the ideological groups activating at local level, of the political systems, of economic conditions and of the different tendencies manifested within the society.
The author consider that: putting the local community resources to good use by the school, approaching a community partnership by promoting participative management, becoming aware of and putting to good use the role each community agent plays in education, are ways that lead not only to the development of the school institution but also of the local community.