Creating Classroom Community

This resource on creating classroom community was written and compiled by Mandy Olejnik, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Howe Writing Across the Curriculum at Miami University (Ohio).

Introduction to Classroom Community

The concept of “creating classroom community” is important for a student-centered and more inclusive classroom. Students learn in classroom communities of practice (Wenger, 1998), which can be understood as “a kind of community created over time by the sustained pursuit of a shared enterprise” (45). In other words, students learn together with other people moving toward the same goals. Their learning is an ongoing, social process impacted by others in their various communities. Thus, students already exist in a classroom community (and in other classroom communities), and instructors can intentionally and meaningfully support learning in that community through the way the course is structured and other activities and teaching approaches. 

Below are some recommendations on how to create, maintain, and utilize classroom community in your courses.

What is Classroom Community?

A classroom community is a group of students who share space and a sense of belonging and purpose together in their pursuit of learning. Another term related to the idea of a classroom community is a discourse community, which is a group of people with shared goals, communication and language, practices, knowledge, and genres of writing (Swales, 2011; Beaufort 2007). In a classroom setting, it’s important for students to feel a sense of belonging and connection to one another, as such belonging will motivate them to participate more in class and engage in deeper learning.

Strategies for Promoting Classroom Community

Further Reading

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