As the national debate about education intensifies, it is becoming clear that understanding how people learn is crucial to efforts to enhance education. In this book, Barbara Rogoff, author of the highly acclaimed book Apprenticship in Thinking, collaborates with Carolyn Goodman Turkanis and Leslee Bartlett, teachers at an innovative school in Salt Lake City, Utah to examine what is involved in learning - by students, parents and teachers alike. Eschewing the conventional idea that learning comes from the transmission of facts and concepts by experts, the editors and their colleagues focus on the idea of learning by collaborative participation with others in activities of mutual interest. This book demonstrates that learning as a community involves people learning together in purposeful activities, with mutual responsibilities, shared decision making, and motivation based on interest. At the Salt Lake City school, children as well as adults plan learning activities and adults learn as they guide children. The driving principle is that learning occurs through interested participation with other learners.
In the view of many researchers, a paradigm shift is taking place in educational theory. This book contributes to this new theoretical perspective by examining ground breaking theory-in-practice. It should inspire researchers, educators, and parents to reflect on their own ideas about learning in their communities.