Learning Communities


Giselle Martin-Kniep of Communities for Learning, wrote that learning communities must infuse learners as well as teachers, administrators, parents and other adults, because “students have firsthand experiences that affect their learning and their thinking.” (Martin-Kniep, 2008)

By engaging students as partners throughout education teachers can foster learning communities between adults and students, throughout their classrooms and throughout entire schools and districts. Learning communities engage participants in:

  • Caring deeply about learning;
  • Feeling free to take risks;
  • Challenging each other and raising the expectations of everyone;
  • Respecting and valuing perspectives other than their own by seeking and valuing every member’s input;
  • Intentionally seeking to do the work better, and;
  • Aggressively and continually building capacity of each member to work smarter. (Martin-Kniep 2004)

By using these attributes as the basis of learning communities with students and adults, schools can foster Meaningful Student Involvement as well.

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Published by Adam Fletcher

Adam is the founding director of SoundOut. An author, speaker and consultant, he has worked with K-12 schools, districts, nonprofits and others for more than 15 years. Learn more about him at http://soundout.org/Adam

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