Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Common Experiences' keyword pg.1 of 1
17 JULY 2012

Learning Communities: new students sharing common experiences

"In their most basic form, learning communities employ a kind of co–registration or block scheduling that enables students to take courses together. The same students register for two or more courses, forming a sort of study team. In a few cases this may mean sharing the entire first–semester curriculum together so that all new students in that learning community are studying the same material. Sometimes it will link all freshmen by tying two courses together for all – most typically a course in writing with a course in selected literature, or biographies, or current social problems. In the larger universities such as the University of Oregon and the University of Washington, students in a learning community attend lectures with 200–300 other students but stay together for a smaller discussion section (Freshman Interest Group) led by a graduate student or upper division student. In a very different setting, Seattle Central Community College students in the Coordinated Studies Program take all their courses together in one block of time so that the community meets two or three times a week for four to six hours at a time."

(Vincent Tinto, 1997, p.2)

1). Vincent Tinto (1997). "Universities as Learning Organizations", About Campus 1(6) January/February 1997, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. []



1997 • block of time • block scheduling • co-learner • co-registration • common experiencescommunitycourseempathy • first-semester curriculum • Freshman Interest Group • freshmen • graduate student • HEisolationlearners • learning communities • learning communitylearning journey • learning organisations • learning organizations • learning supportlinked • new students • pedagogypeer engagementpeer supportpersonal learning networksregistration • same material • Seattle Central Community College • shared experienceshared interestsshared understandingsharingsharing experiencessocial fragmentation • stay together • student cohort • students • study team • studyingsupport • taking courses together • timetable • timetabling • together • tying courses together • universitiesUniversity of Oregon • University of Washington • upper division student • Vincent Tinto


Simon Perkins
27 NOVEMBER 2010 individual experience causing social fragmentation?

"MIT technology specialist Nicholas Negroponte prophecies the emergence of 'the Daily Me'––a communications package that is personally designed, with each component fully chosen in advance [4]. Many of us are applauding these developments, which obviously increase individual convenience and entertainment. But in the midst of the applause, we should insist on asking some questions. How will the increasing power of private control affect democracy? How will the Internet, the new forms of television, and the explosion of communications options alter the capacity of citizens to govern themselves? What are the social preconditions for a well–functioning system of democratic deliberation, or for individual freedom itself? ...

A large part of my aim is to explore what makes for a well–functioning system of free expression. Above all, I urge that in a diverse society, such a system requires far more than restraints on government censorship and respect for individual choices. For the last decades, this has been the preoccupation of American law and politics, and indeed the law and politics of many other nations as well, including, for example, Germany, France, England, and Israel. Censorship is indeed a threat to democracy and freedom. But an exclusive focus on government censorship produces serious blind spots. In particular, a well–functioning system of free expression must meet two distinctive requirements.

First, people should be exposed to materials that they would not have chosen in advance. Unplanned, unanticipated encounters are central to democracy itself. Such encounters often involve topics and points of view that people have not sought out and perhaps find quite irritating. They are important partly to ensure against fragmentation and extremism, which are predictable outcomes of any situation in which like–minded people speak only with themselves. I do not suggest that government should force people to see things that they wish to avoid. But I do contend that in a democracy deserving the name, people often come across views and topics that they have not specifically selected.

Second, many or most citizens should have a range of common experiences. Without shared experiences, a heterogeneous society will have a much more difficult time in addressing social problems. People may even find it hard to understand one another. Common experiences, emphatically including the common experiences made possible by the media, provide a form of social glue. A system of communications that radically diminishes the number of such experiences will create a number of problems, not least because of the increase in social fragmentation.

As preconditions for a well–functioning democracy, these requirements hold in any large nation. They are especially important in a heterogeneous nation, one that faces an occasional risk of fragmentation. They have all the more importance as each nation becomes increasingly global and each citizen becomes, to a greater or lesser degree, a 'citizen of the world."

(Cass Sunstein, 2002)

Sunstein, C. (2002). "The Daily Me"., Princeton University Press.

Fig.1 San Liu (2004) 'Narcissism'



1995 • being digital • Cass Sunsteincensorship • citizen of the world • citizenshipcommon experiences • communications technologies • consumer choiceconveniencecultural signalsdemocracy • democratic deliberation • democratic participation • democratic society • digital culturediversityemerging technologiesempathyextremismfilter • Fishwrap • fragmentationfree expressionfreedomfreedom of speechglobalisation • government censorship • heterogeneity • heterogeneous society • individual choiceindividual experienceindividual freedomindividualisminformation in contextinternational relationsInternetisolationmedia consumptionMITnarcissismnew forms of televisionNicholas Negroponteparticipationpersonalisation • political philosophy • power • Princeton University Press • private control • • shared experiencesocial changesocial constructionismsocial fragmentationsocial gluesocial interactionthe Daily Me


Simon Perkins

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