The term community here refers to the social context of students and their environs. A community is a group of people with a common purpose, shared values, and agreement on goals. It has powerful qualities that shape learning. A community has the power to motivate its members to exceptional performance. M. Scott Peck defined community as “a group whose members have made a commitment to communicating with one another on an ever more deep and authentic level.” It can set standards of expectation for the individual and provide the climate in which great things happen (…) A real community, however, exists only when its members interact in a meaningful way that deepens their understanding of each other and leads to learning. Many equate learning with the acquisition of facts and skills by students; in a community, the learners—including faculty—are enriched by collective meaning-making, mentorship, encouragement, and an understanding of the perspectives and unique qualities of an increasingly diverse membership
Bickford D.J., & Wright, D. (2006). Community: The Hidden Context for Learning. In D.G. Oblinger (Ed.), Learning Spaces, EDUCAUSE e-book. Full chapter available here
In this paper I explore different ways to understand the idea of community. Using the work of Alphonso Lingis, I make a distinction between the rational community and the community of those who have nothing in common. The latter community is the community in which we are all strangers for each other. I argue that the language of the latter community is the language of responsibility. It is this language that enables us to speak with our own, unique and individual voice. I argue that education and educators should be concerned with the latter form of speaking.
Therefore, the community without community, which exists as the interruption of the rational community, is the most important, and ultimately the only relevant educational community.
Biesta, G. (2004). The community of those who have nothing in common: Education and the language of responsibility. In Interchange, 35(3), 307-324. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02698880 / Full paper available here