Building Learning Community and Adult Education

Groups of people who build connections with each other for learning purposes are called learning communities. Learning communities are important due to two reasons. Firstly, it gives a priority for learning activities. Secondly, learning is occurred within a community where groups of people work collaboratively with shared interests, common goals, and responsibility towards each other. The main goal of learning community is learning. Such learning can be achieved successfully in the environment, where students responding to questions comfortably even when they are not sure about the correct answer. Building learning communities assist students to realize that they are connected to their peers and teachers. Such a learning community fulfill the fundamental motivational human needs to be part of a social community.

Collaborative learning activities are basic elements of learning community and it promotes active learning. Active learning means that students build their own mind through actively engaged in learning process where they can develop ideas, concepts, and solutions for problems. In the traditional lecture based model, a teacher stand up in front of the class room explains students what they learn. In this traditional model, teachers expect they can transfer knowledge efficiently and effectively. However, these typical lecture and group discussions help only few students who can participate in lectures instantaneously. Cooperative and collaborative learning which are based on learning communities create numerous benefits to students compared with the traditional model.

Building communities may address the voice of marginalized groups in the class room. However, some researchers show that too much focus on student engagement is not sufficient to empower marginalized groups. Therefore, those researchers highlight the role of institutional agents creating environment for empowering such marginalized groups. Post-secondary instructors can assist institutions to achieve such a goal by creating conditions for marginal groups to contribute such learning communities. In short, a class room where students can interact each other as members of the learning community may lead to create synergy between motivation and active learning. Such a class room environment helps students to learn actively and thereby collaborate reconstructing and building their knowledge about subject matters.

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