Collective Learning Agreements as Democratic Practice and Joint Empowerment



When decision-making power about what happens in a classroom is rarely shared with students, hierarchies are reinforced, knowledge is static, and learning becomes passive. Learning agreements and learning contracts can undercut these dynamics, modeling democracy while promoting cooperation. Analyzing collective learning agreements in undergraduate conflict management courses, this article explores what students perceive to be productive learning methods and argues that collective learning agreements facilitate active learning, self and class governance, and shared responsibility for individual and collective success. Jointly constructing collective learning agreements disrupts traditional power relations while engendering creativity in students and professors alike.