Corporaciones municipales y participación en educación

This article presents the results of a study about the ways local government participates in education. The methodology includes reviewing the official websites of 30 selected cities and towns of Spain, the effects and results of programmes for participating in education according to 18 interviews with the heads of local education departments, municipal education experts and members of the local education community, and the analysis of eight good practices for local government participation in education, selected according to the criteria of breadth, sedimentation and novelty. The types of educational activities organised by local governments is, in general, fairly broad and diverse. Citizen knowledge of and engagement in plans, programmes and projects is found to be crucial in order to meet local needs and interests. Cities and towns that implement broad, cross-cutting, innovative educational policies are therefore concerned about educating citizens who feel a commitment to what they have around them. The conclusions of the study confirm that participation in education requires certain minimum conditions and educational institutions capable of cooperating in the satisfaction of collective interests. Cities and towns that have more open, participative, horizontal, operational organizational structures often get better results in actions to participate in education than do cities and towns that maintain closed, vertical, exclusive, non-functional structures. Proposals for improving participation in education mainly mean that local councils call for greater shared responsibility in education. Local administrations that want to spur change must bring out proposals to heighten interest in education among all citizens as a group by guaranteeing the quality of education, a people-oriented management style and the goal of social cohesion for their respective communities.

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