Why Learning Communities?

By Randall Fielding posted 08-19-2013 05:19 PM


Have you talked to teachers with "reform fatigue?" Have they experienced a “Pod” or “House” organization in the past and reverted back to classrooms due to a lack of support? 

Have you observed bored students in classrooms?

What was really missing for those teachers and students? The teachers are mostly alone in their classroom, and the students are being taught as if they’re all the same, yet only individually if they have issues. What I think they’re missing is a sense of a) belonging – the concept of one leader and 25-30 followers all the same is an arbitrary one, not based on human need.  And b) a sense of control over their teaching and learning.

Learning Communities are based on the concept of 150 people as a maximum group size. Everyone knows your name. You belong to an identifiable group. Organized with spaces of different sizes around a Learning Commons, students can personalize their learning, and are always visually supervised by an adult though transparent connections between spaces. 

Come to the Learning Session in Indianapolis on Saturday, September 21, from 2:30 - 3:30 called "The DNA of Learning Community Design,"  and we can talk about the details face-to-face. Using this forum, share your thoughts and questions, and we can jump-start the conversation.

1 comment



07-15-2014 12:58 PM

Randy, thanks for the post of Learning Communities. This term of learning communities is thrown around a lot and I believe it is misrepresented in the truest sense. You defined the community as having a minimum of 150 people as part of that community. Using that definition, could you please share your thoughts of how a planner could incorporate that concept in a comprehensive high school (2400 to 3500 students), middle schools that house 1200 to 2000 students and elementary schools that house upwards of 1000+ students (pk-5, k-6, and/or k-8)? I am curious to your considerate thoughts on this subject. Thanks.