Of being collaborative and all that…

Following yesterday’s classroom session which was held using a collaborative form of learning I have decided to post my views on the issue. To be honest I was also following #ukedchat on twitter, for today and the topic which was chosen was about collaborative learning.

The question was about collaborative learning in schools… the whats, hows and whys and most importantly if it does work out for the learners. I personally think that if handled well, collaborative learning may be the best way but it’s a big IF…

I have recently come across Kagan’s Research Program for professional development… quite a number of research articles over there. However one specific article “The Case For Student Centered Instruction Via Collaborative Learning Paradigms” has caught my eye. I must say that it makes a strong case for introducing collaborative practices in learning at all levels, academic, emotional, social, psychological. As the article goes, the reality in our schools is completely opposite. This reality, which induces the individual competitive approach, is even very much present at a higher education. I also believe that collaborative learning leads to networked learning – a connectivism approach as defined by Siemens.

My question is this…. if I had to ask learners what they think of all this – collaborative work, learning, connecting, sharing – what do they make of it? and if our schools are fostering this individual approach, is this being propagated at the society level? I think yes…

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