The advantages of cooperative learningCooperativelearning is an incredibly valuable approach to education, as it focuses on theinteraction between students in order to instill knowledge and abilities. Theaspect is often overlooked with traditional teaching, where the focus is almostexclusively kept on the materials at hand, yet don’t let that put you in anegative mood – changes for the better are seen more and more these days.Inorder to help students be prepared for an adult life, it is crucial that theirability to work in a team, of sharing anddebating their ideas, of explaining their work process is given more attentionthan their performances in quizzes andother standardized forms of tests. The old ways of teaching mostly encourage individualistic approaches, many of which will be difficult toapply after graduation. Here are few of the advantages that you can get withcooperative learning.1. Students develop an improved ability towork in a team Groupprojects may be found in traditional teaching methods as well, but they are notthe norm.
With cooperative learning, however, students will practice their team working skills on a daily basis. They willlearn how to rely on each other, how to use each other’s strengths, how tocombine their thoughts in order to reach conclusions that they couldn’t havehad 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 tothe competitive approach where students may hope for the failure of everyonebut them.Thisis an essential skill that becomes invaluable for life, as the vast majority ofthose activating in the workforce need towork in a team. Collective efforts have played a big part in the evolution ofour species, and there is no reason notto have our teaching methods encourage them.
2. Students will feel more motivated Thepresence 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 otherpeople care and rely on your skills, acknowledge your achievements andencourage you after mistakes can make a huge difference in your desire toperform. You will start to become emotionally involved in your work, finding alevel of enjoyment that is difficult to replicate through individual learningmethods. Collectivelearning is all about ensuring the best environment for students, one that willmake full use of their strengths and encourage them to feel a natural desire ofputting in the effort needed for success.
3. It can lead to achievements that would be impossible otherwise“Twoheads are better than one” is a proverb that applies perfectly here. Groupsprovide several advantages, besides being able to take a larger amount of workat a time. Having a different set ofskills will allow for more efficient approaches, as members can each performtasks that they excel at. New skills can be acquired faster since students will be involved in projects where they canbe observed first-hand. More than that, it is in the interest of everyone tohelp each other, so you can always ask colleagues for guidance, avoiding the time-consuming mistakes that you may have donefiguring things out on your own.
4. It encourages creativityTheability to evaluate other people’s ideas and present your own can encourage ahuge burst of creativity. You will be quickly exposed to new points of view andunusual approaches that you may not have considered otherwise. You will beexpanding your own knowledge and have the whole learning process become acollaborative source of enjoyment.Collaborativelearning is all about allowing students to express themselves in ways that willbe heard and given importance. Given how everyone follows the same goal, thesuccess of the group, you can find a great source of creative talks beforedeciding on solutions and the division of work.
5. It can improve social skills Havingpeople work in groups on a regular basis is a sure way of making memberscomfortable with social interactions. Students will have to analyze, plan andexecute their tasks while communicating face-to-face. They canlearn how to present their own approach to a problem and respect the views ofothers even when they disagree. Proper communication is crucial to the success of the group, whileconflict-management skills will often be gained when things do not go accordingto plan in the group.
Interpersonalskills can benefit immensely from group works, as it can present valuablechallenges and rewards that cannot always be met in the students’ spare time.Asyou can see, collective learning brings massive advantages, as it involvesstudents in ways that no other methods can match.