ERIC Number: ED309818
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: N/A
The Rationale for Learning Communities and Learning Community Models.
The learning community movement is a response to several widespread educational problems, including the mismatched expectations of career-oriented students and research- and discipline-oriented faculty; the inadequate amount of intellectual interaction between students and between faculty and students; the lack of coherence among most of the courses taken by students outside of their major; inadequate resources and opportunities for faculty development; and the growing complexity and interdependence of contemporary issues. Learning communities address these problems, and the atomism of the disciplines, by bringing together people with related interests and giving them the opportunity to learn from each other. The term "learning communities" refers to a variety of approaches, including the following: (1) freshman interest groups, such as those operating at the University of Oregon, which involve triads of courses focusing on such topics as "The Human Environment in Art and Architecture" and "Pre-Health Sciences: Biology/Psychology"; (2) learning clusters, such as LaGuardia Community College's "Freedom and Seeing" cluster of linked courses in English composition, research paper writing, introduction to philosophy, and introduction to art; (3) Federated Learning Communities involving three courses linked by a common theme and an integrative seminar taken by the teacher as well as the students; and (4) the Coordinated Study Model, in which teams of three or four faculty members plan the coordinated study of an over-arching theme in blocks of time that accommodate lectures, discussions, field trips, and other activities. (JMC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education.