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An Implementation Revolution as a Strategy for Fulfilling the Democratic Promise of University-Community Partnerships: Penn-West Philadelphia as an Experiment in Progress
In this article, the authors argue that the academic-practitioner divide is largely a product of the Platonic false dualism between "superior" pure theory and "inferior" applied practice. The authors call for a Dewey-inspired implementation revolution to build local democratic neighborly communities as a means for advancing academic-practitioner collaboration, fulfilling America's democratic promise, and overcoming the influence of Plato's aristocratic philosophy on American higher education. The authors describe the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Community Partnerships' work with public schools as an experiment in progress designed to advance academic-practitioner collaboration and a "democratic devolution revolution." Academically based community service learning and research and communal participatory action research are highlighted as particularly useful approaches for improving scholarship and communities and forging democratic, mutually beneficial, and mutually respectful university-school-community partnerships.
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