engaging with each other and learning together
Cooperative and collaborative learning are predicated on a belief in a learner-centred approach to education. Learning in an active mode is considered highly effective. Students work together on tasks that have been designed for use in small groups, small-group activities being conducive to developing higher-order thinking skills and the ability to use knowledge. Sharing ideas in a group enhances the learner’s ability to reflect on their own assumptions and thought processes. Group work is also valued for its potential to develop social and teambuilding skills. It both utilises and builds an appreciation of diversity.
In cooperative and collaborative learning, there is an emphasis on interdependence, while maintaining individual accountability and participation. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. Teaching and learning are seen as shared experiences that are mutually enriching. The teacher’s role will include facilitation.
Cooperative and collaborative learning provide a context where:
· learners actively participate
· teachers become learners at times, and learners sometimes teach
· respect is given to every member
· projects and questions interest and challenge students
· diversity is celebrated, and all contributions are valued
· students learn skills for resolving conflicts when they arise
· members draw upon their past experience and knowledge
· goals are clearly identified and used as a guide
· research tools are made available
· students are invested in their own learning.