PDF PDF    printable version of page Printer-friendly page

Focus On Basics

Volume 5, Issue B ::: October 2001

Table 1:  Learners' Constructions of the Cohort as a Holding Environment for Academic Learning

Way of Knowing The Cohort . . . Sample Quotations

Instrumental Knowers



Helped them obtain the "right skills, right answers, and facts" they needed to know

Provided information and concrete help.

Was valued because they "made us" keep coming, "wouldn't let us quit," "made us do our work." 

Became informational resource.

 "You have an idea but another person has an idea and can help you÷it can help you change." "You give your opinion. I give my opinion, they give their opinions. If you like that you can take something, something good you take." "You work with group. There is teamwork. You can ask them if you have something difficult or you have something you don't know. Sometimes you call each other."

Socializing Knowers Supported them by providing a comfortable and safe place to express themselves.  

"Knew them" as persons, knowing how they felt and thought.

Accepted them, enabling them to ask questions and risk making mistakes.

Was source of own self-confidence.

Helped them evaluate their academic learning.

 "We all got our strengths. We all have our weaknesses. Maybe what I, what I am good at, maybe they lack of it. What they are good at, maybe I lack at it. We have all got our weaknesses to work on."

Self-Authoring Knowers Provided a place of joining together in collaboration and learning from that process. 

Helped them to discover their own capabilities.

Provided an opportunity to improve upon and demonstrate how they wanted to carry out their own beliefs and purposes. Tolerated and appreciated conflict and difference.

 "In groups, we share what we know. If someone knows something a little better, then that person helps others to know something a little better." "[Working with others] I realized I knew more than I thought I did." "When I learn math I try helping my co-students how to do the math, or you do your homework, let me see if you do exactly the way or why you don't try to do this work this way.  [It's] a good way to learn, because if you see anything, anybody can help you. You can help work together, work in team. You learn more working together."

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