Facilitated Learning Spaces for Intentional Belonging in Post-Secondary Education - Bridging the Chasm Dividing Education and Community


  • Laura Black Conestoga College 299 Doon Valley Drive Kitchener ON N2G4M4
  • Debashis Dutta Conestoga College Renison University College Conestoga College 299 Doon Valley Drive Kitchener ON N2G4M4


placemaking, dialogic education, belonging, transformative learning


            In a competitive, managerial based post-secondary educational environment based on reactivity, the authors of this article believe that the sense of community is hindered. As complex issues continue to emerge on college and university campuses, the reactionary approaches serve to diminish the transformational and humanizing purposes of learning in educational settings. The authors, both employees at a community college, reflect on their own recent graduate-level education, as well as their roles at their college as they explore this threat to community development. The concepts surrounding the dialogical method, transformative learning, placemaking, and use of self are explored to tune into these larger purposes of post-secondary learning. Principles of community development are then used to integrate these theories into a framework that promotes facilitated learning spaces in colleges and universities towards the goal of engaging belonging for students, faculty, staff, and administration.

Author Biographies

Laura Black, Conestoga College 299 Doon Valley Drive Kitchener ON N2G4M4

Laura Black is a Student Rights and Responsibilities Officer at Conestoga College.

Debashis Dutta, Conestoga College Renison University College Conestoga College 299 Doon Valley Drive Kitchener ON N2G4M4

Debashis Dutta is a professor in the Community & Criinal Justice program at Conestoga College.  He is also on faculty in the School of Social Work at Renison University College.



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