The Importance of Psychological Sense of Community in Human Learning

By:
Dr. Helen Vrailas Bateman
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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
Stream: Psychology, Cognitive Science and the Behavioural Sciences
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Psychological Sense of Community: Relationship to Human Learning


Dr. Helen Vrailas Bateman

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of the South
Sewanee, TN, USA

Dr. Helen Vrailas Bateman received her doctorate from the Psychology and Human Development Department of Vanderbilt University. She was the recipient of a two-year McDonnell Foundation Fellowship award. She then worked as a research fellow at the Learning Technology Center, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. She is presently assistant professor of Psychology at the University of the South. Her research and publications have explored the construct of Psychological Sense of Community, its dimensions, and its importance in human learning. She has developed and validated a scale measuring Psychological Sense of Community in a variety of settings. Her measure and research findings have been used extensively in a variety of educational settings and countries.

Ref: I06P0317