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ERIC Number: EJ1125098
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1812-9129
Exploring Students' Experiences in First-Year Learning Communities from a Situated Learning Perspective
Priest, Kerry L.; Saucier, Donald A.; Eiselein, Gregory
International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, v28 n3 p361-371 2016
This study looked to situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991) in order to explore students' participation in the social practices of first-year learning communities. Wenger's (1998) elaboration on "communities of practice" provides insight into how such participation transforms learners. These perspectives frame learning as a socialization and identity shaping process in which learners gain knowledge and skills contextualized, and legitimized, by their communities. We used a survey method and open-ended questions to examine three facets of participation: students' access and motivation to join the community, meaning of their experiences within the community, and trajectory of learning--that is, how participation influenced their later academic or professional decisions. Our findings emphasize that students are motivated by, and find value in, the academic content and engaged pedagogical approaches offered by first-year learning communities; the meaning of their experiences, however, is negotiated through social relationships.
International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kansas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A