Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Sink or swim: working together using cooperative learning

This was the title of a presentation at the recent Cambridge Day in Ho Chi Minh City.  The speaker was David Bohike and what follows is a summary of what he had to say.

What is cooperative learning?
  • Cooperative learning is a learner centred approach which emphasises the importance of student cooperation rather than competition.  
  • It is a teaching strategy where each group member is responsible not only for learning what is taught, but also for helping other group members to learn it.  Students work together until everyone successfully understands and completes a task.  Group members gain from one another's efforts and they all share a common fate.
  • Learning is dependent on socially structured exchanges and requires cooperative strategies.
  • Students are responsible for their own learning.
  • Tasks are designed so students must interact.
  • It is team work not group work.
Why use cooperative learning?
  • Through cooperative learning, students develop real-world leadership skills, such as decision-making, trust building and conflict management skills.
Examples of activities that use cooperative learning

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