An Educating Neighborhood

Throughout North America, one of the most popular mottoes is the African saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” Hardly anyone disagrees with its premise. However, there are very few neighborhoods that actually engage in this practice. Instead, child-raising is thought to be largely the domain of families and schools.

A village, however, is much more than family or school. In fact, a village holds many more educational resources than either families or schools.The educational resources of the village include the knowledge of neighborhood residents, the clubs, groups and associations that are citizen-based learning environments and the local institutions (businesses, not for profits and government bodies). Each provides incredible learning opportunities.

In this post, John explains how these neighborhood educational assets can be activated in a “village” to raise its children.

Read the full post here.

John is interested in identifying people who would like to work with him in creating “Educating Neighborhood” pilot initiatives in their neighborhoods. He can be contacted at [email protected].

Home page image Bruce Guentner

About the Lead Author

John McKnight
John McKnight is emeritus professor of education and social policy and codirector of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University. He is the coauthor of Building Communities from the Inside Out and the author of The Careless Society. He has been a community organizer and serves on the boards of several national organizations that support neighborhood development.

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