Constructivism & Technology/Learning Communities
4: Building Learning Communities
What are learning communities?
Rationale for learning communities in constructivism
Learning Communities: An Educational Revolution?
The Learning Organization
The Democratic Classroom
Use this link to Defining Learning Community to answer questions #1 and #2
1. True or False – Learning communities are groups of students in the classroom that work collaboratively on a specific task to build the collective knowledge of the group which then supports the growth of the individual's knowledge.
2. Which of these is not a quality essential to all learning communities?
a. Members all have the same kinds and levels of knowledge, understandings and skills.
b. Members all believe in the objective of furthering the knowledge and skill of the group.
c. Members use metacognitive strategies to further and transfer learning.
d. There are well-defined means for sharing what is learned.
Use this link to Foundations in Theory to answer questions #3 and #4
3. When incorporating learning communities in a classroom, a teacher must first
a. give students a pre-test to assess background knowledge on the unit of study.
b. introduce key vocabulary words for the unit of study.
c. assign students to a group with members that have the same kinds and levels of knowledge, understandings and skills.
d. teach the social and communication skills that will create a respectful, tolerant and supportive learning environment.
4. In learning communities students construct knowledge by
a. helping one another grow through individual learning.
b. participating in authentic activities with others that involve sharing multiple perspectives and negotiating meaning.
c. using technology in their projects.
d. listening to the teacher’s lectures, reading textbooks and completing written assignments.
Use this link to Learning Communities in Action to answer question #5.
5. Choose two strategies/methods mentioned in this section and explain how you could use them to incorporate learning communities in a specific classroom setting (grade level and subject area).
Refer to any of the above links to answer question #6.
6. Explain how the concept of learning communities supports constructivism.
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Bielaczyc, K. & Collins, A. (1999, February). Learning communities in classrooms: Advancing knowledge for a lifetime. NAASP Bulletin, 83 (604), 4-10.
Defining Learning Community. (2008). Retrieved February 24, 2009, from Learning Communities in the Classroom Wiki: 
Dickinson, D. (1991). Onward and Upward! With visionary leadership, schools are succeeding when they recognize that students learn and process information in different ways. The Learning Revolution (IC#27). Retrieved February 20, 2009, from 
Field, R. (2007). John Dewey (1859-1952). The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy 
Foundations in Theory. (2008). Retrieved February 24, 2009, from Learning Communities in the Classroom Wiki: 
Learning Communities in Action. (2008). Retrieved February 24, 2009, from Learning Communities in the Classroom Wiki: 
Learning Communities. (n.d.) In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 16, 2009, from 
Pryor, C. R. (2004). Creating a Democratic Classroom: Three Themes for Citizen Teacher Reflection. Kappa Delta Pi Record. FindArticles.com. 12 Feb, 2009. 
Ramirez, M. R. (1999, February). Developing learning organizations and communities. NAASP Bulletin, 83(604), 1-2.
Raywid, M. (1987, Dec87 Special Issue). The democratic classroom: Mistake or misnomer. Theory Into Practice, 26, 480. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.
Senge, P. M., Roberts, C., Ross, R., Roth, G., Smith, B., and Kleiner, A. (1999). The Dance of Change: The challenges of sustaining momentum in learning organizations. New York, Currency/Doubleday. Excerpt retrieved February 18, 2009, from 
Smith, M. K. (2001) 'The learning organization.' The Encyclopedia of Informal Education. Last update: February 05, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2009, from 
Thirteen/WNET New York. (2000). Workshop 2. Setting the stage: Creating a learning community. Learning science through inquiry. Retrieved February 16, 2009 from 
Watkins, C. (2005, March). Classrooms as learning communities: a review of research. London Review of Education, 3(1), 47-64. Retrieved February 17, 2009, doi:10.1080/14748460500036276Last modified on 19 May 2009, at 20:11