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ERIC Number: EJ987099
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0633
Residential Learning Communities Centered within a Discipline: The Psychology Early Awareness Program
Grills, Cheryl N.; Fingerhut, Adam W.; Thadani, Vandana; Machon, Ricardo Arturo
New Directions for Teaching and Learning, n132 p43-55 Win 2012
Learning communities have increasingly become a mechanism for education reform in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education. Recognizing that learning occurs both inside and outside the classroom, their emergence is partly a response to the critique that undergraduate education at American research universities lacks integrated and focused student learning. In other words, the typical college experience for many students is a solitary one, with each student selecting and taking separate, often disconnected courses; living in dormitories with peers who may or may not share career or intellectual interests; and engaging in extracurricular activities that are likewise disconnected from what is occurring in the classroom and in the dorm. Within higher education, learning communities allow for integration of students' academic (or intellectual) and social experiences--with the idea that ultimately such an integration enhances academic performance, engagement, and retention. Since their emergence in educational settings, learning communities as a means of integrating students' academic and social experiences have taken a number of forms: (1) as structures "inside" classrooms that facilitate student learning of particular skills or content areas through collaborations with their peers; (2) as on-line collaborations that engage students in academic projects by connecting youth across the world; and (3) as vehicles for connecting students and faculty with similar interests. Many learning communities attempt to create connections between students and faculty and the curriculum. When these efforts attempt to extend these connections beyond the classroom and into the residence halls, they are referred to as living-learning communities or as residential learning communities, which are the focus of this article. This article describes the Psychology Early Awareness Program (PEAP) at Loyola Marymount University, a residential learning community centered within a discipline. The authors discuss the theory that supports the value of living-learning communities, describe how this guided the development of PEAP, and summarize the benefits of this approach. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California