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ERIC Number: ED426441
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Using Language To Create Community: An Ethnographic Study.
Kiedaisch, Jean
A study examined first-year students' out-of-class lives, focusing on the "potentially rich" environment created when students who are enrolled in a first-year seminar also live together. The students observed were members of the University of Vermont's Living and Learning Center. Both the living environment and the class were designed with community in mind. "The Ecology, Geology, and History of the Lake Champlain Basin" course was year-long, taught by three teachers from the disciplines represented by the course title, writing-intensive, and structured around field activities and collaborative projects. The participant/observer attended the class, went on field trips, and interviewed six students in a male suite and five students in a female suite every Friday afternoon throughout the fall and spring semesters. Both the male and female suites formed a community. However, the females did not get on as well together personally as the males did. Transcriptions of their conversations illustrate this. This research project has shown that just putting students together does not guarantee that they will form a learning community. In fact, for competitive students, assigning collaborative projects seems to increase tensions. The discovery that teachers have less control over how students "read" their classes was unexpected. To be pursued further is how the observer's questioning called forth some of the language of community building. (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A