The Pedagogy of Possibilities: Developmental Education, College-Level Studies, and Learning Communities

Gillies Malnarich, with Ben Sloan, Phyllis van Slyck, Pam Dusenberry, and Jan Swinton. National Learning Communities Project monograph series. 2003.

This publication invites developmental educators and learning community practitioners to create challenging and supportive learning environments for academically under prepared students. Research-based best practices in developmental education provide a rationale for adopting an approach to learning communities for developmental students that intentionally targets "high-risk curriculum"—curricular trouble spots where students typically flounder and fail—with the intent of designing learning communities as an intervention strategy for student success. Nine case studies and numerous examples illustrate this approach.

Foreword (PDF)
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Introduction (PDF)
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Section One

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Chapter 1: Taking a Risk to Learn: What It Means to be "Prepared" for Higher Education (PDF)

Chapter 2: Adopting a Developmental Perspective in the Academy: Practices that Support and Enhance Student Learning (PDF)

Chapter 3: Creating Supportive and Challenging Learning Environments: The Learning Community Experience (PDF)

A Call for Action (PDF)

Section Two

Learning Community Case Studies

Drawing Lessons Early On: The Learning Community Factor in Teaching and Learning (PDF)
Ben Sloan, Fayetteville Technical Community College

Learning More, Learning Better: Developmental and ESL Learning Communities (PDF)
Phyllis van Slyck, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York

College Knowledge: Creating Meaningful Preparatory Curriculum (PDF)
Pam Dusenberry, Shoreline Community College

Learning How to Learn: A Foundation for Developmental Learning Communities (PDF)
Jan Swinton, Spokane Falls Community College

Learning Community Snapshots

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General Education First Year Cluster Program: California State University, Hayward (PDF) 

Learning in Communities (LinC) Program: De Anza College (PDF)

Project Success: Grossmont Community College (PDF)

Tribal Environmental and Natural Resources Management (TENRM) Program: Northwest Indian College, Lummi Nation (PDF)

Circle of Learning for Entering Students: University of Texas at El Paso (PDF)

Section Three

Additional Resources (PDF)

Contributors (PDF)