General Information About Faculty Learning Communities at Miami University

Overview

The work of Alexander Meiklejohn and John Dewey in the 1920s and '30s gave rise to the concept of a learning community. Increasing specialization and fragmentation in higher education caused Meiklejohn to call for a community of study and a unity and coherence of curriculum across disciplines. Dewey advocated learning that was active, student centered, and involved shared inquiry. A combination of these approaches in the late 1970s and '80s produced a pedagogy and structure that has led, among other things, to students' increased civic contributions, retention, and intellectual development. The term learning communities traditionally has been applied to programs that involve first- and second-year undergraduates, along with faculty who design the curriculum and teach the courses.

The long-term goals of a faculty learning communities program for the University are to

Each faculty learning community has its own specific goals and objectives, which the facilitator and members determine.

Each year the activities for these communities vary somewhat but are likely to include the following:

Follow-Up

Each participant agrees to prepare initial, midyear, and final reports and program assessment about achievement of objectives, outcomes of the teaching project, and interaction with faculty partner and student associate. This includes a focus course mini-portfolio and student learning as a result of participation in a community.

Examples of FLCs at Miami

 

This project has been supported in part by grants from the US Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) and the Ohio Board of Regents.