PDF PDF    printable version of page Printer-friendly page

Focus On Basics

Volume 5, Issue B ::: October 2001

Table 2:  Learners' Constructions of the Cohort as a Holding Environment for Emotional Support

Way of Knowing The Cohort . . . Sample Quotations

Instrumental Knowers


Embodied a community of concern (e.g., when a student missed a day of class, others inquired about the student's well being). 

Provided more concrete form of support (e.g., help with homework).

"We work together with our friendÖwe talk and everybody is friendsÖwe share food from different culture, we sit togetherÖmake a little partyÖwhen some friend not come in and not in school we ask our teacher what happened to her if she not come?" 

Socializing Knowers Increased their sense of belonging and decreased feelings of isolation. 

Eased the pressures of managing various responsibilities in their multiple roles and in their transition into US culture. 

Knew them, recognized and appreciated them.

Encouraged them and enabled them to give encouragement to others.

 "Everybody here cares so much for each other and I think that's so goodÖthey become like part of your family." 

"I told [them] this ëwe're going to breeze through this and even if it gets harder, we'll make it because we'll stick together and help each other." 

"Sometime I get frustrated, especially when I was doing math and sometime I'll be tiredÖ.But [a classmate] was a good encouragement. She always said, "don't get so mad with yourself."

Self-Authoring Knowers

Provided opportunities to share their goals and to learn about others' goals and feelings. 

Provided positive feelings from friendships with cohort learners; however, their commentary centered mostly on the connections the group created to a shared social status. 

Had a goal of group harmony not as an end to itself but as a means toward some greater end.

"I enjoy the relations with the other students. We meet, then sometimes we share our life, my life, each life. We are not American people so sometimes we can share our anxiety and our stress about language and that's good."

"They are there for me so the factÖmakes it even easier for me to push yourself." "Everybody's learning is different."

Table compiled by Eleanor Drago-Severson.
Updated 7/27/07 :: Copyright © 2005 NCSALL