The advantages of cooperative learning

The advantages of cooperative learning

Cooperative
learning is an incredibly valuable approach to education, as it focuses on the
interaction between students in order to instill knowledge and abilities. The
aspect is often overlooked with traditional teaching, where the focus is almost
exclusively kept on the materials at hand, yet don’t let that put you in a
negative mood – changes for the better are seen more and more these days.

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In
order to help students be prepared for an adult life, it is crucial that their
ability to work in a team, of sharing and
debating their ideas, of explaining their work process is given more attention
than their performances in quizzes and
other standardized forms of tests. The old ways of teaching mostly encourage individualistic approaches, many of which will be difficult to
apply after graduation. Here are few of the advantages that you can get with
cooperative learning.

1. Students develop an improved ability to
work in a team

Group
projects may be found in traditional teaching methods as well, but they are not
the norm. With cooperative learning, however, students will practice their team working skills on a daily basis. They will
learn how to rely on each other, how to use each other’s strengths, how to
combine their thoughts in order to reach conclusions that they couldn’t have
had on their own and how to put the collective goals above their personal ones.
The group’s success becomes part of everyone’s individual goal, as opposed to
the competitive approach where students may hope for the failure of everyone
but them.

This
is an essential skill that becomes invaluable for life, as the vast majority of
those activating in the workforce need to
work in a team. Collective efforts have played a big part in the evolution of
our species, and there is no reason not
to have our teaching methods encourage them.

2. Students will feel more motivated

The
presence of others will always be one of the best ways of motivating you to do your best,
and it becomes increasingly obvious with collective learning. Having other
people care and rely on your skills, acknowledge your achievements and
encourage you after mistakes can make a huge difference in your desire to
perform. You will start to become emotionally involved in your work, finding a
level of enjoyment that is difficult to replicate through individual learning
methods.

Collective
learning is all about ensuring the best environment for students, one that will
make full use of their strengths and encourage them to feel a natural desire of
putting in the effort needed for success.

3. It can lead to achievements that would be impossible otherwise

“Two
heads are better than one” is a proverb that applies perfectly here. Groups
provide several advantages, besides being able to take a larger amount of work
at a time. Having a different set of
skills will allow for more efficient approaches, as members can each perform
tasks that they excel at. New skills can be acquired faster since students will be involved in projects where they can
be observed first-hand. More than that, it is in the interest of everyone to
help each other, so you can always ask colleagues for guidance, avoiding the time-consuming mistakes that you may have done
figuring things out on your own.

4. It encourages creativity

The
ability to evaluate other people’s ideas and present your own can encourage a
huge burst of creativity. You will be quickly exposed to new points of view and
unusual approaches that you may not have considered otherwise. You will be
expanding your own knowledge and have the whole learning process become a
collaborative source of enjoyment.

Collaborative
learning is all about allowing students to express themselves in ways that will
be heard and given importance. Given how everyone follows the same goal, the
success of the group, you can find a great source of creative talks before
deciding on solutions and the division of work.

5. It can improve social skills

Having
people work in groups on a regular basis is a sure way of making members
comfortable with social interactions. Students will have to analyze, plan and
execute their tasks while communicating face-to-face.

They can
learn how to present their own approach to a problem and respect the views of
others even when they disagree. Proper communication is crucial to the success of the group, while
conflict-management skills will often be gained when things do not go according
to plan in the group.

Interpersonal
skills can benefit immensely from group works, as it can present valuable
challenges and rewards that cannot always be met in the students’ spare time.

As
you can see, collective learning brings massive advantages, as it involves
students in ways that no other methods can match.

 

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