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Book Review- Learning Communities: Reforming Undergraduate Education
The book "Learning Communities: Reforming Undergraduate Education" talks about the philosophy and practices that can transform educational institutions into learning communities and organisations. In learning communities there is centrality of making learning happen as a natural process both by the teachers and students in holistic, integrative and interdisciplinary ways.
When seen from the point of view of implementing the reform, the book can work as a base document to create a learning community effectively to enhance student learning and build capacity of teachers continually and bring about professional collectivism among them.

Authored by professional educators and leaders in the movement of learning community reform, Barbara Leigh Smith, Jean MacGregor, Roberta S. Matthews, and Faith Gabelnick, the book provides a practical framework along with its historical, conceptual and theoretical contexts of the reform.

By taking cues from the ideas described in the book of 400 odd pages, educational institutions can work out their plans for transformation of their set-ups into learning communities. The learning communities emphasize on creating deliberate inter-relations and connections among learners, teachers and subject areas for participatory learning.

Under the reform of learning community, the institutions try to link different subject areas through certain cross-cutting themes and processes to provide a curricular coherence and a sense of shared inquiry by students and the teachers together.

The book published by Jossey-Bass has been divided into five parts. The first part deals with the contemporary and historical context of learning communities. On the other hand, the second part dwells on the learning community structures and practices. The third part describes the arenas for the reform at the under-graduation level. The fourth and fifth parts of the book talk about initiating and strengthening learning communities; and the conclusion in the form of their future.

Since the authors are active participants in the reform, they provide an authentic and comprehensive overview of the concern and challenges of the reform. In India, some of autonomous institutions can take a leaf or two from this book that provides ample ideas and practical experiences to become part of the pedagogical reform and transformation in contemporary higher education.

The best of the universities and autonomous colleges across the world are turning themselves into learning communities presently. This provides an added value to the book for such institutions.

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