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Virtues of Learning Community

Virtues of Learning Community 



I have enjoyed reading about the virtues of a learning community presented by Parker Palmer in his The Heart of Higher Education:


  • We invite diversity into our community not because it is politically correct but because diverse viewpoints are demanded by the manifold mysteries of great things.
  • We embrace ambiguity not because we are confused or indecisive but because we understand the inadequacy of our concepts to embrace the vastness of great things.
  • We welcome creative conflict not because we are angry or hostile but because conflict is required to correct our biases and prejudices about the nature of great things.
  • We practice honesty not only because we owe it to one another but because to lie about what we have seen would be to betray the truth of great things.
  • We experience humility not because we have fought and lost but because humility is the only lens through which great things can be seen – and once we have seen them, humility is the only posture possible.
  • We become free men and women through education not because we have privileged information but because tyranny in any form can be overcome only by invoking the grace of great things.


The great things Palmer was referring to in these virtues are the subjects around which truth-seekers gather to know, to teach, and to learn.