The Importance of Psychological Sense of Community in Human Learning
Building and sustaining positive communities in which all members are valued and respected is believed to be a central component of successful learning environments. The importance of membership in such learning communities spans across different ages and different contexts.
The present paper discusses the concept of Psychological Sense of Community (PSC) and its importance in human development and human learning. A multi-dimensional model of Psychological Sense of Community is outlined. A scale measuring Psychological Sense of Community (PSC) and its validation is presented. Research using the PSC scale as well as a variety of other variables that validates the PSC scale and the central role that PSC plays in positive learning outcomes is presented. Research supporting the central role that positive community membership plays in human learning is presented. Research findings span across different ages (from 7-year-olds to 65-year-olds) and different learning contexts (schools, colleges, professional development workshops, websites). Implications of providing learning environments that nurture PSC to the creation of positive citizens of the global community are discussed.
Keywords: Psychological Sense of Community, Community, Learning
Dr. Helen Vrailas Bateman
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of the South