This presentation is one part of a larger research-based development process, which focuses on a question �How to Use Learning Communities in Higher Education�. The target group is a group of adult students of Social Services in a University of Applied Sciences in Finland. The group is very heterogeneous. Adult students coming to study have with very different educational backgrounds. Some of these students have a lot of experience from social field and other students have none. These differences between students can have an effect on the development of a student�s professional identity.The focus in this presentation is on a student�s experiences: how do the students feel that they belong to their learning communities and how do they believe these experiences affect the development of their professional identity. It is important for the teachers to understand the type of conflicts students must resolve when developing their sense of self as a participant in a learning community and as a participant among social service students. There are no answers for these questions yet. To answer the questions, research data will be collected with two inquiries; the first will be conducted in March 2017 and the second in April 2017. The first results are ready to be shared in the conference in July. It is the presenter�s sincere hope that this conference will also give some new ideas on how to continue this research-based development process.
Heli Makkonen, KARELIA University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Stream: Community Development
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