In conventional schools, students and teachers are siloed in individual classrooms with one teacher managing 15-40 students in a tightly controlled territory. This restrictive environment lacks the freedom, choice, and flexibility for students to become self-motivated, self-directed learners, and fosters isolation from the broader school community.
By shifting the focus from isolated, territorialized classrooms, to a community-based, collaborative approach, this problem can be solved. A Learning Community calls for a group of teachers to work collaboratively, sharing a suite of spaces of varying sizes and characteristics with permeable boundaries and strong outdoor connections wherever possible. As a result, students have access to additional peers and adults and are able to have greater autonomy over their learning.
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- Learning Communities Change the Paradigm
Randy Fielding's blog in Getting Smart gets to the essence of the spatial paradigm shift.
- What is Dunbar's Number?
This article describes Robin Dunbar's research pertaining to the number of relationships humans are capable of maintaining (a.k.a 'The Rule of 150'). This sociological concept was integral in defining the appropriate size of a learning community.
- How do We Define Community?
In the Art of Community, Charles Vogel defines community as “a group of people who share mutual concern for one another's welfare.” To put it more simply, community members believe other members care about them.
- Leaner, More Effective Schools
21st-century school configuration reduces operational expenditures and promotes student learning.