Relationships between Sense of Community and Perceived Learning

By Mervyn Wighting, Deanna Nisbet and Lucinda Spaulding.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reports on an exploratory study examining relationships between sense of community and perceived learning among students enrolled in both face-to-face and online graduate-level teacher preparation courses (N=143) in a southeastern US state. Previous studies have shown the importance of sense of community in a variety of learning environments. The current study builds on this foundation by exploring the relationships between students’ sense of community and what they perceive they are actually learning. Participants were 53 males and 108 females from diverse ethnic backgrounds who were enrolled in education courses at two independent universities in southeastern USA. Two separate, standardized instruments were administered to measure sense of community and students’ perceived learning. The data were analyzed using quantitative statistical processes. Results revealed a moderate correlation between the two constructs. No significant differences by gender, age, or ethnicity were revealed. Implications and recommendations for further research are addressed.

Keywords: Sense of School Community, Perceived Learning, Graduate Students

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 8, pp.119-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 656.387KB).

Dr. Mervyn Wighting

Professor, School of Education, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Dr. Mervyn J. Wighting, originally from the south of England, has considerable experience in the education of people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and has taught in a variety of institutions in the United Kingdom and in Europe. Dr. Wighting has lived in the United States for the past fourteen years, where he has worked in public and independent schools as well as in higher education. He possesses a Virginia professional teaching license with endorsements as a principal and as a teacher in middle and secondary education. He has taught extensively through both face to face instruction and distance education, and is a strong advocate of lifelong learning.

Dr. Deanna Nisbet

Associate Professor, School of Education, TESOL Program, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Dr. Deanna Nisbet is an Associate Professor and Director of the TESOL Program in the School of Education at Regent University. Her areas of expertise and research include first and second language acquisition, literacy for second language learners, and research related to learning strategies and proficiency of Chinese students of English as a second or foreign language. Dr. Nisbet developed and presently oversees the Regent TESOL program, as well as partnerships with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Chesapeake Public Schools, and Newport News Public Schools, for the training of current and prospective ESL teachers and tutors.

Dr. Lucinda Spaulding

Assistant Professor, School of Education, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, USA

Lucinda S. Spaulding holds a Ph.D. in Special Education and Educational Psychology from Regent University. Dr. Spaulding is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Her research interests include resilience in children and youth, standards-based reform and educational policy, and the history of special education.

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