R. Dorczak

Jagiellonian University (POLAND)
Contemporary educational organizations face very difficult and demanding challenges connected with the fact that social problems within and around schools are complex and cannot be solved using the potential of schools only. One of the most important factors that influences schools’ ability to deal with those problems is their cooperation with organizations that form school organizational environment. Schools need to cooperate with them in order to be able to understand and solve educational problems and to help students develop better their potential. There are two important issues when we think about good management and the effectiveness of schools-environment cooperation. Firstly, it has to involve many different partners in order to deal with the diversity of problems schools face. Secondly, it has to take different organizational forms in order to support better ways of solving problems of different complexity and importance from the point of view of educational processes. Good school management or leadership has to be aware of such needs and able to organize professional cooperation. The knowledge of the existing forms of school-environment cooperation can help develop better potential of educational systems to face that crucial challenge.
The paper presents the results of research carried out on a group of thousands of teachers and school heads form several hundred Polish schools of different type and was connected with external evaluation of schools done within the system of school inspection. The paper shows the diversity of organizations that schools cooperate with and briefly describes the essence of that cooperation. It also tries to describe different types of cooperation using the typology that was based on the analysis of school-environment cooperation evaluation. Presenting those types of cooperation the author gives examples of such cooperation and tries to describe situations and problems that need different types of cooperation.