Yhteisöllisyys kasvatuksessa : Yhteisökasvatuksen teoreettinen analyysi ja käytäntöön soveltaminen
This study is comprised of two parts. In the first section, a theoretical analysis of the community education, or the education of responsibility and cooperation, which was developed for child and youth homes, schools, daycare centers and the care of mentally retarded persons during a period of over twenty years, is made. The second section is a study of the application of community education to the functioning of one organization, a central institution for the mentally retarded accommodating over 250 residents. In the theoretical analysis, a conceptual model was built by making a theoretical reflection on the developed practice of community education. The developed theoretical model combines a sociological and a psychological approach together with an individual and a community one as an ecological whole of community education. In the ecological model of community education, the development of the individual. is regarded simultaneously as an activity of the peer group, of the educating community and its individuals, of the administration of the community and the organizational level and of the social level. The shared norms of the various levels develop as interaction takes place between the various ecological levels. These jointly defined, agreed and accepted norms are controlled, supervised and altered as a continuing process of cooperation between the educating community and the peer group. Also, a shared concept of reality, which is characterized by mutual understanding and similar interpretations of actions and their content by the various levels, comes about as the social interaction of the peer group, the educating community and its individuals, the organizational level and the social level. A common social reality manifests itself in a common language of the various levels as well. In the central institution for the mentally retarded, developmental methods based on community education were developed, with a starting point at the ecological level of the organization and its administration, by the aid of three methods of development of different levels. First, development concentrated on one residential unit. Second, by implementing .the method of action research, activities were organized separately for each of the eleven residential units of the institution which enabled independent planning, problem solving and joint decision-making. Third, regular community meetings for the staff of the whole central institution were initiated. The development of the staff and resident communities was studied through qualitative and quantitative methods. All three strategies of different levels brought positive results. The adaptive behavior of the residents was improved, sanctions were reduced and the well-being of the residents was improved. The influence of the staff was enhanced, decision-making became more flexible and goal-oriented, joint consultation increased, relations of the residential units with the administration improved and an educational optimism and trust for the residents was strengthened. ...
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