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Learning Communities : Reforming Undergraduate Education

ISBN: 978-0-7879-1036-5
416 pages
September 2004, Jossey-Bass
Learning Communities : Reforming Undergraduate Education  (0787910368) cover image


Learning Communities is a groundbreaking book that shows how learning communities (LCs) can be a flexible and effective approach to enhancing student learning, promoting curricular coherence, and revitalizing faculty. Written by Barbara Leigh Smith, Jean MacGregor, Roberta S. Matthews, and Faith Gabelnick¾acclaimed national leaders in the learning communities movement¾this important book provides the historical, conceptual, and philosophical context for LCs and clearly demonstrates that they can be a key element in institutional transformation.
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Table of Contents


The Authors.

PART ONE: The Contemporary and Historical Context of Learning Communities.

1. Learning Communities and Undergraduate Education Reform.

2. Learning Community History: Education for What? Education for Whom?

PART TWO: Learning Community Structures and Practices.

3. Learning Community Curricular Structures.

4. Core Practices in Learning Communities.

PART THREE: Rich Arenas for Reform.

5. General Education, the First Year of College, and Learning Communities.

6. Success for All: Learning Communities in Basic Skills and English as a Second Language Settings.

PART FOUR: Initiating and Strengthening Learning Communities.

7. Information and Feedback: Using Assessment to Strengthen and Sustain Learning Communities.

8. Recruiting and Supporting Learning Community Teachers.

9. Initiating and Sustaining Learning Communities.

PART FIVE: Conclusion.

10. The Future of Learning Communities.



Name Index.

Subject Index.

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Author Information

Barbara Leigh Smith is a Senior Scholar at the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education, an emeritus member of the faculty, and former provost and vice president for academic affairs at The Evergreen State College. Smith and Jean MacGregor are founders of the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education which has led learning community development for twenty years.

Jean MacGregor is a Senior Scholar at the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education and teaches in the master of environmental studies program at The Evergreen State College.

Roberta S. Matthews is provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor of English at Brooklyn College.

Faith Gabelnick was president emerita of Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon, and president of Gabelnick Consulting Institute.

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"… the authors provide a lucid and comprehensive overview." (Authors Journal Compilation, Winter 2007)

"…is a superb resource of ideas and experiences worthy of being examined at length." (The Midwest Book Review)

“Every college teacher should read this comprehensive and insightful analysis of one of the most important pedagogical movements in contemporary higher education.”
--Alexander W. Astin, Allan M. Carter Professor of Higher Education, University of California, Los Angeles

“An essential resource for anyone interested in learning communities by the leaders in the field. Framed by years of experience, the authors provide invaluable insights into how one begins, sustains, and improves learning communities on both two- and four-year campuses. A must-read.”
--Vincent Tinto, distinguished university professor and chair, Higher Education Program, Syracuse University

“Conceptual and practical, comprehensive and illustrative. This magnificent volume proves the learning communities movement has come of age.”
--Peter Ewell, vice president, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)

“This book contains a wealth of information, not only about learning communities, but about the efforts of higher education to improve learning through actively engaging students in the process.”
--K. Patricia Cross, professor of higher education, emerita, University of California, Berkeley

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