Why learning communities and why now?
Posted by Janice Scheckter on 22 October 2020, 16:35 SAST
Learning communities have been proven to work and this is true, prior to the pandemic. There are a number of reasons that learning communities provide relevance and work. From a philosophical perspective, learning communities are changing the way knowledge is accessed and consumed. In other words, there’s a philosophic shift in knowledge sharing and acquisition. According to researchers, learning communities fit into what the research has demonstrated and finally from a pragmatic perspective, they work.
Learning communities connect peers and often create an environment where the entry into a new curriculum is aided and eased by peer support. Having said that, learning communities should be far more integrated and not only about peer support.
Some interesting phrases bandied about include ‘integrated intellectual experiences’ and ‘academic momentum’. Learning communities are also being referred to as ‘a-high-impact education practice. Within this thinking is the concept of linked classes which see the dissolution of siloed teaching, but while this all sounds wonderful and it’s so easy to get carried away once one adopts the lingo, there needs to be a starting point, change behaviour across the ecosystem and the willingness for both those instructed and those instructed – ready to listen to learn. Learning communities speak to creating education platforms that are more developmental, supportive, integrative and holistic and less transactional.
(next week – best practices for learning communities)
Janice Scheckter is the CEO of a-better-africa.com where education communities and ecosystems are designed and curated.