School Networks As Social Resources: The Relationship of School Resources and School Community to School Effectiveness

Doctoral Dissertation


There has been a long-standing discourse in the field of sociology of education regarding the relationship of school community to effective schools. Many times, this discourse has become muddled in discussions of social capital, school climate, and achievement gains. This move in the discourse is likely due to the difficulty of adequately measuring social resources along with the prevalence of testing data. This dissertation returns the discussion back to the core ideas relating social resources to school community and engagement. This is done by connecting social relationship data to school community and engagement outcomes using data from 15 Indianapolis charter schools. The survey data collected for this dissertation maps the network of relationships between school staff and assesses their perceptions on various school community and engagement outcomes. Using these concrete, measureable network measures of social resources, I find evidence that links the social relationships of teachers and principals to indicators of school community, especially trust and shared values and norms. The evidence linking these social resources to teacher and student engagement is more mixed. The principals’ and school-wide social resources and school community indicators of trust and shared values and norms do well to explain teacher engagement. For student engagement, the school community outcomes matter less so, the principals’ social resources matter more so, and the teachers’ social resources are mixed. Taken together, these analyses show how social resources outweigh other human or material resources of school staff. These findings also highlight how the principals’ social resources play a positive and important role in school community and engagement among teachers and students.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-11222011-134927

Author Heather Elaine Price
Advisor Mark Berends
Contributor William Carbonaro, Committee Member
Contributor Sean Kelly, Committee Member
Contributor Mark Berends, Committee Chair
Contributor Omar Lizardo, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Sociology
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2011-08-02

Submission Date 2011-11-22
  • United States of America

  • networks

  • school effectiveness

  • school community

  • engagement

  • social resources

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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