Shulman considers the idea of a “community of learners” – what this term means, where and how it is being practiced in school settings, and the difficulties of establishing and sustaining communities of learners. He describes lessons and teaching practices of schools that are engaged in creating learning communities. In learning communities not every student will learn all of the material. Instead, the complete picture will be in the hands of the community, with smaller groups responsible for in-depth knowledge of specific parts of the subject matter. This specific knowledge is then put together, like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, into a whole that is only possible when each student in the community contributes something. Finally, Shulman lists the principles that characterize these teaching and learning practices and how they address the limitation of “covering the curriculum” that faces many classroom teachers and curriculum designers.
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