A group psychotherapeutic perspective on transforming participation in a learning community

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The aim of this study is to investigate learners’ transforming participation as they enter and engage in a learning community. To do this, we investigated the micro-development of two students’ learning and collaborative practices in the context of a unique learning community that was fostered within a graduate level course. Interpretations of the data, which were reviewed by the researchers and triangulated by a group of expert and novice peers, led us to suggest three dimensions of transforming participation that is based on a group psychotherapy framework: (a) the social microcosm—examining one’s learning and collaboration practices in the LC in comparison with one’s everyday life; (b) developing the motivation to change based on dissatisfaction or a desire to grow; and (c) making incremental changes to practices in a socio-cultural context. We discuss the intricacies and implications of this framework for future research on learning communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-970
Number of pages22
JournalInstructional Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 14 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Group psychotherapy
  • Learning community
  • Micro-development
  • Participation transformation
  • Social microcosm theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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