This study defines and explores the concept of community learning as a driver of economic and social change. Community learning refers to the creation of new knowledge and skills as a result of people interacting with each other to affect change within a locality. Jointly-created knowledge and skills build the efficacy of individuals as well as the capacity of a group to further its purpose. The question that shaped this study was: How do communities educate themselves for change? A theoretical framework is developed based on social constructivist learning theory, organizational and collaborative learning, and community development. This study applies Morse's (2006a) six postulates of community learning to the creation of Chattanooga Venture, a non-profit organization in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1984. Three primary sources—personal interviews, organizational documents, and newspaper accounts—ground the study in the lived experience. By applying Morse's postulates to the origin of Chattanooga Venture, the study examines both the process and structure of community learning and has implications for both theory and practice. The significance of this study is to determine if a theoretical understanding of community learning can be applied to creating stronger and better communities, increasing the knowledge-base both individually and collectively, and generating social and economic productivity.
|Advisor:||Tucker, James A.|
|Commitee:||Black, Daryl, Freeman, John, Rausch, David|
|School:||The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga|
|School Location:||United States -- Tennessee|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||American history, Social research, Urban planning|
|Keywords:||Chattanooga Venture, Civic engagement, Community learning, Group process, Participatory planning, Social change, Tennessee, Visioning|
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