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Defining learning communities

Kilpatrick, Sue, Barrett, Margaret and Jones, Tammy 2003, Defining learning communities, in AARE 2003 : Educational research, risks, & dilemmas, Australian Association for Research in Education, [Coldstream, Vic.].

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Title Defining learning communities
Author(s) Kilpatrick, Sue
Barrett, Margaret
Jones, Tammy
Conference name Australian Association for Research in Education. Conference (2003 : Auckland, N.Z.)
Conference location Auckland, N.Z.
Conference dates 30 November - 3 December 2003
Title of proceedings AARE 2003 : Educational research, risks, & dilemmas
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2003
Conference series Australian Association for Research in Education Conference
Publisher Australian Association for Research in Education
Place of publication [Coldstream, Vic.]
Summary The beginning of the twenty-first century heralds a shift in emphasis from learning with the focus on the individual to learning as part of a community. The concept of “learning communities” is currently one that is to the fore of much educational and organisational literature and discussion. In the literature, however, the term “learning communities” is being defined and used in diverse and flexible ways. As well as learning communities that are geographically defined, there has been growth in accessing learning through participation in “communities of common purpose”. Information and communication technologies have facilitated the emergence and rapid growth of learning communities whose members interact from remote corners of the globe to form online learning communities.

This paper explores the ways in which learning communities are defined, and the commonalities, blurred boundaries and close associations that are apparent between learning communities and other contemporary areas of interest, such as lifelong learning, social capital, communities of practice and distributed cognition. The Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania has acknowledged the potential that learning communities offer for the new century, and the benefits that can flow from an improved understanding of the concept, by adopting learning communities as the key metaphor of its research. It is apparent that learning communities can be a powerful means of creating and sharing new knowledge.
ISSN 1176-4902
1324-9320
Language eng
Field of Research 130199 Education systems not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2003, The authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30020333

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Vice-Chancellor and Presidents Office
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