Date of Completion


Document Type

Campus Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Advisor

Alan Girelli


The author seeks to contribute to the research and application of Communities of Practice (CoP) and situated learning, as codified by Lave and Wenger (1991). The specific CoP, and subject of this research, is the forming collectivist community: “Treehouse Village Ecohousing” (TVE).

Within TVE, members intend to acquire and share knowledge collectively. Prior to the establishment of the physical community, unit cohesion had been fostered in-person, through a prerequisite 3-part “Group-Forming Series”. Potential members were asked to articulate their perceived group identity, work ethic, shared vision, shared values, and decision-making processes.

During these formative gatherings, the ideals of both sociocracy and nonviolent communication (NVC) emerged; both being identified as foundational to what would later be their counterculture ethos. Inherent to sociocracy are “consent-based” decision making, distributed authority, and feedback.

Client-members of the forming TVE community elected to engage the designer-researcher to develop and launch an online course on NVC. Subsequently, the designer-researcher endeavored to identify the goals of various interventions TVE members proposed, ultimately identifying which particular learning intervention to employ.

Findings indicate that an examination of the core concepts underlying CoP provides a conceptual framework to support the abstruse decision-making involved in selecting the most appropriate learning invention to meet the distinct needs of the client-members referenced herein.


Free and open access to this Campus Access Capstone is made available to the UMass Boston community by ScholarWorks at UMass Boston. If you have a UMass Boston campus username and password and would like to download this work from off-campus, click on the "Off-Campus UMass Boston Users" link above.