The implied transfer goal is that these ways of

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Unformatted text preview: cipation structures that define it as a social context (Brown & Campione, 1994). First, the learners must feel and act on a sense of responsibility to the others in the class. Since no one person in the community has all of the expertise, each member of the community must be responsible to the other members and share his or her expertise in collaborative learning activities. Second, there must be activities that encourage productive interaction among community members. Finally the members of the community of learners must engage in constructive discussion. The members must be willing to make statements, ask questions, and make critical comments to further the learning experiences of the group. The implied transfer goal is that these ways of participating are useful in any collaborative research community. The participation structures listed above are regularized to allow the community members to become familiar and comfortable with the activities and thereby further facilitate their participation (Brown and Campione, 1994 and Campione, Shapiro and Brown, 1995). This is accomplished through the incorporation of four characteristics that distinguish the Communities of Learners classroom: a) the use of reciprocal teaching, b) use of authentic tasks, c) cooperative learning and production activities and d) benchmark lessons. Support for these components comes from the theories presented in chapters 3 through 5. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, reciprocal teaching is a method for helping students acquire reading comprehension strategies. This instructional approach is consistent with Principle 4.1, Learners acquire important knowledge, behaviors, and dispositions through their exposure to models, and by Principle 5.3, students’ 50 knowledge construction is assisted by he nature of their interactions with people and/or objects in their environment. In a community of learners, students will need transferable reading strategies to allow them to research topics independently. In this sense, the community of learners addresses the teaching of transferable strategies. The idea of authentic tasks is found in Chapter 5 and comes from the constructivist perspective. In authentic learning activities, learners learn new material by participating in activities that are as close as possible to the real world activities in which the material would be used. This approach is supported by Principle 5.1, Learning is more powerful if learners actively construct their own understandings. Cooperative learning and production activities are designed so that learners are dependent on one another for the accomplishment of their goals. The Community of Learners Model relies on the Jigsaw method, a cooperative learning technique discussed in chapter 7. Each learner researches and develops expertise in some aspect of a topic being learned, and is responsible for explaining what they’ve learned to the other members of their group. Cooperative production tasks are group activities that focus on producing something, a report a paper or some other artifact. The Jigsaw approach to instruction is supported by Principle 5.3, students’ knowledge construction is assisted by he nature of their interactions with people an...
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