We have all had the chance to work in pairs or groups to complete a common task at some point in our lives. In education, collaborative learning is a technique used by teachers that uses a group of students together to impact learning in a positive way. This technique sees popular usage in many international Schools in Bangalore.
Collaborative learning can occur between just two students or within a larger group, and it can take up various forms. It maximizes learning, as it lays emphasis on social interactions between children for learning and also gives them a chance to relate to one another. Peer learning, which is a form of collaboration, allows students to contribute equally to the learning process.
This style of learning empowers and enables a student’s resilience and teaches them about cultivating habits of the mind that are essential to the development of deeper scholarship. An increase in the sense of shared responsibility is also seen as a result of learning by collaboration. For example, in a subject like math, teachers may prompt the student to first discuss and ask questions to each other, before they approach the teacher. This builds confidence among students and increases their dependency on their own collective wisdom.
The schools following this teaching technique believe that it increases learning outcomes. Asia Pacific World School in Bangalore is one such school.
Daily exercise sheets and periodic tests under the collaborative style of teaching are intentionally designed to be tougher than individual homework or assignments so that students can realize the benefits of working together.
In a subject like English, this style could be used when students share and listen to each other’s individual interpretation of a given text, uncovering the notion that there may be multiple ways to answer one question and various perspectives to understanding the same situation. Coming to a consensus isn’t of utmost importance here, but nurturing students’ abilities to challenge their peers’ ideas, question them and articulate their own is the focus of this student-led learning technique.
Establishing a culture of collaboration requires valuing every student’s strength and a school community that believes in learning from each other. It is a long-drawn, challenging journey but with the positive impact it has on our future leaders, it is worth a try.