The Collaboration of International Researchers on Learning Communities (CIRCLES) aims to advance learning communities research within the learning sciences. We believe that one of the best ways to do this is to create a thriving learning community of researchers and practitioners, such that we try to bridge between the process that we are engaged in with the content we seek to examine.

The learning communities idea has been central within the learning sciences since the field’s inception. Rooted theoretically in sociocultural views of learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Sfard, 1998; Vygotsky, 1978), different models of learning communities such as Communities of Learners (CoL: Brown & Campione, 1994), Knowledge-Building Communities (KBCs: Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1994) and Rogoff’s OC (2001) have had a major impact on the learning sciences’ unique identity. Yet, in the two decades since, a variety of new models have emerged which have not been sufficiently investigated in relation to these original models and in comparison to one another. We have therefore created this CIRCLES community to address the ongoing developments in learning community theory, conceptions and designs within the learning sciences.

CIRCLES had its first international meeting on June 23rd, 2014, at the ICLS Conference in Boulder, Colorado. There, 30 researchers, each with a vested interest in learning communities, got together to begin defining our mission and vision as an international research collaboration. The participants represented seven countries that spanned four different continents. We have since had another international meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden, began organizing a Instructional Science special issue on the topic, planning the next meeting in ICLS 2016 in Singapore, and have been developing resources on LCs for our community.

To support our efforts, CIRCLES maintains an inclusive membership to those who want to be active participants in our activities or even just associate with this endeavor by joining our mailing list. We encourage all visitors to explore this site and to get in touch.

Sincerely, CIRCLES co-founders,

Yotam Hod, Dani Ben-Zvi, & Katerine Bielaczyc


Brown, A. L. & Campione, J. C. (1994). Guided discovery in a community of learners. In K. McGilly (Ed.)                     Classroom lessons: Integrating cognitive theory and classroom practice (pp. 229-272). Cambridge, UK:             The MIT Press.

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK:                         Cambridge University Press.

Rogoff, B., Turkanis, C. G., & Bartlett, L. (2001). Learning together children and adults in a school community.           London, UK: Oxford University Press.

Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (1994). Computer support for knowledge-building communities. Journal of the           Learning Sciences, 3(3), 265-283.

Sfard, A. (1998). On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one. Educational                             Researcher, 27(2), 4-13.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.