Community of Learners


In a community of learners, as defined by Barbara Rogoff, all participants are active. Children take an active role in managing their own learning through adult guidance. Adults don't control where and how children learn but instead support children's learning and development by engaging students in joint activities where all contribute. Teachers in a community of learners model support and provide guidance rather than attempting to control all interactions within the classroom. Students engage in dyadic relationships rather than the traditional question-response-evaluation format. A community of learners model isn't just piecemeal incorporations of group work or interactive techniques but an entire structure that guides the classroom set up. This model is in contrast to adult-centered and student-centered models and is antithetical to the banking model.


Rogoff, B. (1994). Developing understandings of the idea of community of learners. Mind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal,
1(4), 1-11.

Powell, R., and Davidson, N. (2005). The donut house: Real world literacy in an urban kindergarten classroom. Language Arts, 82(4), 248-256.

Christensen, L. (2000). “Where I’m from: Inviting students’ lives into the classroom” in reading, writing, and rising up: teaching about social justice and the power of the written word. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Rethinking Schools, 18-22.