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Creating a dialogue about what it’s like to be a new teacher.

The Rookie Teacher



Learning Together! 0

Posted on March 28, 2012 by Sarah

As some of you may know, I provide The Rookie Teacher.ca with some reflections from my experience at OISE studying an M.Ed. I’m currently enrolled in a Co-operative Learning (CL) course which, as the name may suggest, discusses learning collaboratively. It is important to recognize that this is different from many conceptions associated with conventional groupwork. CL involves several key elements that involve careful structuring or design. An essential element is creating positive interdependence, or tasks that have students interconnected in meaningful ways. It is sometimes very difficult to escape the competitive nature that is internalized in many Western schools. Students are constantly ranked and compared, who is better, who is worse, forced to submit to an oppressive hierarchy.  But can’t we create so much more together? Even from an efficiency point of view, it is wiser to have multiple people learn various parts of a complex task and share information than to have each master the parts individually.  Anyway, I think just by taking the CL survey I’ve made, may lead you to understand CL in a different light. It is a complex task to manage people in ways for them to be successful. It involves explicit teaching and practice of many skills: how to communicate and express one’s ideas, how to attentively listen to others and responding in ways that promote the success of a group, amongst others. But where better to practice than in a safe community in your class?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and how you use collaborative learning in your classroom for my research project in this field. Please take the time to complete my survey be a part of the results. They will certainly be shared!

Find the survey here!

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