Community Development scholars have called for a more robust engagement of the interplay of values, practices, and knowledge creation (see e.g. Hustedde, 1998; Bergdall, 2003; Peterson and Knopf, 2016; Talmage et al., 2017; Westoby, 2016). The Cycle of Praxis for Community Development is a framework for facilitating catalytic reflection, action, and knowledge creation where critical consciousness and asset-based action are rhythms for empowerment. It is centered by the expression of felt needs and follows the interplay of four areas of focus: Experience; Learning and Reflection; Synthesis and Planning; and Implementation and Review. The purpose of the Cycle of Praxis is to accompany collaborators for learning and action while protecting the dignity of all who may be affected by the work being done. In the tradition of praxis-based approaches, it emphasizes personal experience as the basis for reflection (Freire, 1970/2012; Ledwith, 2011; Pstross et al., 2017).
C. Bjørn Peterson, Craig A. Talmage and Richard C. Knopf
Craig A. Talmage, Robin Lewis, Kathleen Flowers and Lisa Cleckner
This chapter highlights collaborations undertaken between small liberal arts colleges and local communities; these types of collaborations epitomize community development and community innovation in small communities throughout the United States. It also showcases the experiences of one small college and its small metropolitan area in upstate New York. Particular themes such as collective impact, sustainable development, urban design, community innovation and local entrepreneurship are discussed. This chapter notes the merits of college-community collaborations to develop future leaders and change agents amongst the college and locality, which can build community capital and capacity. It covers various strategies for community development and innovation utilized by small liberal arts colleges and their communities as derived from the literature and mainstream media, whilst also searching for quiet exemplars. Finally, this chapter utilizes a single case (one community, one college) and discusses its town-gown story using a community development and innovation lens.