Hal A. Lawson
I enjoy a three-cornered appointment at the University at Albany. I am a Professor of Educational Administration and Policy Studies; Professor of Social Welfare; and Special Assistant to the Provost for the university-school-community partnerships. I came to the University in January 2000, along with my partner, Katharine Briar-Lawson, the Dean of our School of Social Welfare.
I specialize in university, school, family, and community partnerships. For the past 32 years, Iíve been interested in how schools can access family, neighborhood, and community resources for learning and healthy development; and reciprocally, how schools contribute to strong families and vibrant, safe, and secure neighborhood communities. My work spans urban, rural and suburban communities. However, in recent years I have focused more on urban schools located in challenging neighborhood communities. These urban school communities require complex change initiatives that connect school improvement with family support, youth development, neighborhood revitalization, and community economic and social development. I have an enduring interest in complex change models that escape the confines of industrial age, linear models and the "one at time sequences" they promote.
Higher education institutions are key partners in my work, both as learners and as developers of educational (and economic) opportunity pathways. My publications include a focus on higher education, particularly interprofessional education and training programs and interdisciplinary, collaborative research. I remain keenly interested in new, improved preparation programs for educators and social and health service providers.
Working alone and in close collaboration with others, Iíve received grants and contracts in support of research, model development, and practice improvement. These grants have focused on school-linked comprehensive social and health services, after school programs, parent involvement and empowerment programs, new university preparation programs, and community school initiatives. This work has involved learning the doctrines and design theories for several school reform initiatives including the School Development Program, Accelerated Schools, the Coalition of Essential Schools, and full-service community schools.
Foundation support has permitted me to travel extensively to innovative school community sites across the nation, resulting in several publications and grant initiatives. Iíve continued to work "closer to the ground" in local school communities because I love the work and because I learn from it.
Iíve also enjoyed the benefits of leadership development programs, specifically the Danforth Foundationís School Leadership Program and the Leadership Associate Program offered by John Goodlad and his colleagues at the National Network for Educational Renewal. My international involvement includes continuing service in the Netherlands on the Advisory Board for the National Institute of Education and Youth Care.
I teach three innovative graduate seminars, both of which convene doctoral students and advanced masterís students. Interprofessional Leadership for School-Family-Community Partnerships focuses on complex change and leadership for it. Action Theories, Research, Scholarship and Learning focuses on the social construction and constitution of theories of action, emphasizing professional socialization dynamics. Engaged Universities and Colleges focuses on the helping fields in the context of higher education outreach and engagement agendas.
Recent books include Family-centered Policies and Practices: International Implications (2001); Innovative Practices With Vulnerable Children and Families (2000); and, Expanding Partnerships for Vulnerable Children and Families (1996). My articles have appeared in journals such as Universities and Community Schools, The Journal of Teacher Education, Teacher Education Quarterly, The National Association of Secondary School Principals Bulletin, Quest, The Journal of Health and Social Policy, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Social Work in Education. The short CV in this web site provides details about some of these scholarly activities.