Online learning circles are teams of learners situated in a small number of schools (5–10) who share a common goal of acquiring a deeper understanding of topics arranged around themes. They exchange ideas on a set of related projects defined by each of the participants. For example, in a ‘Places and Perspectives’ learning circle, students might share views on a current ethnic conflict, describe local heroes, create international timelines, conduct World War II interviews, simulate letter writing during the 1850s, and create cost-of-living place profiles. The norm of reciprocity is critical; the expectation is that each team will contribute in some way to each of the circle projects. The learning circle is a task-based learning community; the task for students is to summarize their learning ...

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