Archive for April, 2012

The Social Artist – Community

Posted in Uncategorized on April 5, 2012 by onepercentyellow

“It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are” – Wendell Berry

Building community is an essential aspect of education, and the Liberal Arts context offers an opportunity to build a particular type of community.  Certainly I have been touched by my own experience in the Liberal Arts model – it is the reason I continue to reflect on and further investigate my own undergraduate experience.  The sense of community and feeling of belonging is a hallmark of the Augustana experience with alumni describing the campus as a type of family.

In terms of transformative learning, having a community that is not only supportive, but actually invested in you as a student offers a sense of empowerment that is not paralleled in larger institutions.  When we take this further into social transformation, graduates who have matured within this environment have a particular window on the human aspect of inclusive change.

From an institutional perspective, the #ds106 course at the University of Mary Washington has enjoyed a recent expression of community strength.  A kickstarter campaign to fund a dedicated server for the course was funded in less than 24 hours and returned more than 3 times the financial goal (and climbing).  This type of engagement from alumni and interested parties is indicative of the strong ties that can be created in online educational communities.  Nicely done, everyone!

In the next video we discuss the role of community in the Liberal Arts context.  In addition, Martha Burtis, another member of the University of Mary Washington, joins the discussion.  Welcome on board, Martha!  You can find her @mburtis or on her blog.