Educational foundations in Trinidad and Tobago: Reformulating a Masters course and building a learning community

Stephen Geofroy, Gail Joseph-Alleyne, Jeniffer Mohammed, Phaedra Pierre

Abstract


The context of this study is a Masters course in educational foundations, adjusted from an overall theoretical format to one which places heavy emphasis on the social interaction of participants toward the building of a community of learning. In a learning community, situations arise which require of its members social competencies conducive to positive social interaction. Subsequent to the course re-format, a qualitative case study was undertaken to gather responses over two course offerings. Data were analysed from teacher-participants, lecturers and tutors, as well as from sections of an assignment. Teacher experiences reveals that success in building a learning community needs scaffolding through in-depth sensitization into what a learning community entails. The challenge to lecturers is to examine their commitment to an emphasis on community building rather than discrete disciplinary knowledge in the philosophy, psychology and sociology of education.



Keywords


social competencies, learning community, community building, participant experience.

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