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Assignment 13: “Participation in a Community of Learners” SUMMARY

source: Rogoff, B., Matsuov, E., & White, C. (1998) "Models of Teaching and Learning: Participation in a Community of Learners." In D. R. Olsen & N. Torrance (Eds.), The Handbook of Education and Human Development — New Models of Learning, Teaching and Schooling, Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 388-414

Briefly discuss the following issues:
1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?
Several people were interested in the idea of parents being more involved in the school environment. It was also noted that this is a new approach to teaching that seems to hold interesting possibilities for teaching and learning. Several people connected the article to their own experiences in teaching/learning environments. I enjoyed how the authors compared the learning experience of students to the learning experience of parents in this new model. Both needed experience to transcend their earlier notion or preconceptions.

1.2. not interesting about the article?
Many people found the article repetitive. They thought the authors overemphasized the fact that the adult-run model is the norm. It was also suggested that the authors should include scenarios for each model to give a better explanation of how they are different from each other and to address their feasibility.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?
The main message for most people was that the community of learners model is more effective and a more powerful way to learn than the adult-run or the child-run model. It is an environment where parents, students, and teachers are involved, but which is unfamiliar to most people. The article was advocating for people to be open to this new model and the possibilities it offers for transforming educational experiences. I think the authors were attempting to demonstrate that a community of learners model is radically different from the one-sided adult-run or child-run classroom.

3. analyze your own educational experience and

3.1. provide a rough estimate in percentage points for each category and

3.2. one example for each category (in case you have encountered all three approaches)

Adult-run (60-95%) Lecture Classes, ACT Prep Classes

Child-run (0-10%) Senior Project, Social Action Internship, Research Project, Extracurriculars, Elementary Music & Art

Community of Learners (5-30%) Senior Project, High School Classes (for some; Ex: Physics), WSN Class, Montessori Kindergarten, K-12 Outreach Program

It is interesting that the senior project was included by some as child-run and some as a community of learners example. I think that this highlights how an project is experienced by different people can vary depending on what they put into the experience and with whom they are working. It also highlights that people in our class may vary in their definition of what each model is.

4. which technologies are used / can be used /should be used to support

4.1. adult-run education

4.2. child-run education

4.3. community of learners education

Some people argued that the same technologies can be used for all three models but that the purpose of the use differs with a different model. Adult-run technologies such as the web, TV, books, powerpoint would focus on the presentation of material. Child-run technologies would focus on structured play or discovery. Community of learners technologies would focus on communication and collaboration like swiki or bulletin boards.

5. analyze our course from the three dimensions:

5.1. adult-run education

5.2. child-run education

5.3. community of learners education

People varied in the extent to which they believe our course is a community of learners which would be an interesting discussion. A majority agreed that the lectures and slides are example of how the class is adult-run, the independent research and projects are an example of child-run and several people mentioned that the role-plays in the EDC are an example of how our class is a community of learners. Is it just what a group does that makes it a community of learners or does it involve a common purpose or discourse? Does any kind of role-playing fall under the community of learners category?

6. which possibilities do you see to effectively integrate adult- and child-run education?
People addressed several concepts such as motivation, hands-on learning, and the ability express one's creativity as possibilities for integrating adult- and child-run education. I think a lot of educational practice currently utilzes both adult and child-run instruction, but rarely do we see a community of learners with a common purpose or intent for the learning experience, a sense of mutuality and a discourse that focuses on what each individual is contributing to the whole.

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