chapter  3
11 Pages

Nurturing Growth Narratives in School Communities

Education becomes an open inquiry into what works when we engage in a continuing conversation and deep practice about how to work together in sustaining a learning community. An effective learning community invites educators and students to collaborate in ways that engage both in achieving some end, be it teaching-learning of Geometry or producing a school musical performance. Care and support, high expectations, and meaningful participation are balanced and guide practice (Benard, 2004). The meaning students derive emerges from the ongoing dialogue and conversations with those around them, both in school and out of school (Conyne & Cook, 2004; Linell, 2009). Community and student “truth” varies historically and cross-culturally according to the stories told and what works in a given context. Current accepted ways of under - standing the world are products of social processes, interactions, dialogues, and stories in which people are constantly engaged with each other. Truth becomes what works and hangs together in the best possible way in the community where you live (Boyd, 2009; Dewey, 1929/1960; Hayes, Hayes, Reese, & Sarbin, 1993). “What works” is storied, relational, and dialogi - cal; successful students figure out the many landmarks to follow while moving through the learning environment.