Learning is not a an easy process of pouring information into students’heads, but it requires involvment and thinking. It has been attested that even the most colourful, interesting or funniest tasks become boring and banal to students when they are frequently expected to only watch and listen without reflecting on or taking part in their learning. I used to spend hours planning a humourous lesson,for example, but it turned out to be a complete fiasco. Cooperative learning offers the students the opportunity to take part, feel involved, interact with each other, find out, work out,build, try, experiment, practise and do. Indeed, sitting back and watching does not fulfil their need to develop, grow, improve and feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement.
I find cooperative learning the most appealing as it offers the students the means to take part in the learning process.What’s more, I find that this approach would be easy to apply and would not require a lot of involvement on my part as the students would do tasks independently in small groups and spare me a great deal of TTT. I would only need to check whether the groups are doing their tasks as required and how the process of cooperation is going.When students get used to the coopertaive learning framework, they teach themselves.I would find myself free from their constant requests for attention and they would show tremendous social skills such as self-expression, responsibilty, sharing and accountability.
To persuade my colleagues of the effectiveness of cooperative learning, I would first tell them about it and how it differs from traditional teaching methods that set students to compete with each other rather than work together for a common outcome, I would invite them to attend two classes, one based on a traditional approach and the other one would be cooperative-learning based.I would, for instance, get them to focus on and observe low-achieving and shy students, disruptive students and those that show less retention.I would also invite them to take note of my role in both classes and what it would take me to produce a successful lesson.After the observation session, I would convene a meeting with them to discuss the points they observed and the benefts of cooperative learning.
Now let’s see how I would apply this theory in my teaching. I have chosen two activities called The Round Table and Numbered Heads Together.
The Round Table:
Overview: The teacher gives students a task which promotes discussion and to which there are multiple answers. This format can be used for all kinds of activities such as problem solving, contributing written responses or adding information. This may take the form of adding suggestions to a list, as in a brainstorming session; developing a plan; offering possible solutions to a question or contributing data from a reasearch task, etc.
Number of people: Any group size.
Materials: Paper and pens for each student or appropriate worksheet/ project details.
Time: This activity is very flexible. It can run for twenty minutes or an hour depending on how much information you want your stuents to produce.
1. Students are placed in teams of four. Teams can be randomly selected but this activity works best with diverse groupings so that low-ability students can be given the motivation and support they may need.
2.One student in each group is elected as leader and is responsible for starting the task. The leaders in each group write their contributions on a piece of paper or project sheet before passing it on to the next team memeber. In this way, each student gets to conribute to one project sheet.
Numbered Heads Together:
Students huddle to make sure all can respond. A number is called and that number responds.
-Stir the class: Teams stand in circle around the room, huddle to discuss a question from the teacher, stand shoulder to shoulder, when they have their answers, rotate to next team when their number is called to share their answer and join the new team for a new question.
-Paired Heads Together: Students in pairs huddle to make sure they both can respond. An “A” or “B” is called, and the student with that letter responds.
By El. Mohamed
|Vote UpVote DownQuoteReport abuse|
|Cooperative Learning; cooperative work - cooperation - students cooperate|