ERIC Number: ED381216
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Improving the Freshman College Classroom through Building a Purposeful Community of Altruistic and Motivated Learners.
A project was undertaken to create a community of caring, interdependent, intrinsically motivated learners among 21 freshmen students in a community college preservice teacher preparation seminar. Interviews with students at the beginning of the seminar had revealed that most viewed the classroom as individualistic, competitive, and threatening and that all students disagreed with the top-down hierarchical structure. Methods used to create the learning community included allowing students autonomy regarding covering the student syllabus; setting a schedule for student-instructor contacts outside of class for informal discussions, tutoring, and feedback; forming a student advisory committee to create a strong peer culture that perceived teaching as a shared enterprise; and developing collegiality and social skills through cooperative learning groups. To gauge student responses and the level of community formed, students were asked to keep journals and structured, open question interviews were conducted with all 21 students in the 12th session. Analysis of journals in the 6th and 12th sessions indicated that 6 out of 7 students recognized the transformation of the seminar into a community of learners. Similarly, journal entries and interviews revealed that all students felt empowered by the two-way communication system between themselves and the college through the advisory committee and instructor. A self-evaluation instrument, the syllabus, a reflection rubric, and a social skills checklist are appended. (KP)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Ed.D. Practicum, Nova Southeastern University.