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The phrase community of learners is associated with a theoretical perspective on learning that, according to Barbara Rogoff (1994), “takes as a central premise the idea that learning and development occur as people participate in the sociocultural activities of their community” (p. 209), and with a broader pedagogical reform effort designed to transform K–8 classrooms into sites of deep thinking and authentic collaborative inquiry. Proponents of this reform agenda (see Bielaczyc, Kapur, & Collins, 2013) argued that traditional academic approaches—narrow tasks that emphasize memorization or the application of simple algorithms—will not develop students who are critical thinkers or students who can reason, write, and speak effectively. Instead, to develop these higher-order skills, students need to take part in complex, meaningful projects that require sustained engagement, ...

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