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How does Co-operative Learning work?

Put simply, Co-operative Learning requires students to work together to achieve shared goals. Following teacher input of various kinds, groups work together to complete tasks structured in such a way that all members will understand and gain mastery over the material.

Every child and every teacher knows that the quality of the relationships within a classroom impacts on the child’s ability to learn. When we consider the impact of a young person’s emotional state on learning we can readily see that if their relationships are flawed, many youngsters will not achieve their best work.  Yet the development of ‘team’ is very often ignored.  Classes are left to sort themselves out and so the results are rather hit or miss. Co-operative Learning consciously develops the sense of team and thus the security and safety within which young people can learn.

As well as that it offers a framework in which young people can learn social skills explicitly. Connection with others is a key aspect required for young people to thrive and, without direct teaching of these skills, little will be accomplished

Co-operative Learning recognises that learning is a social activity; that effective learning results from a conversation and deep learning is achieved when material, concepts and skills are ‘digested’ and transformed by the individual.  Co-operative Learning offers tight learning structures which ensure opportunity for such conversations and transformation.  Students are grouped in interdependent learning groups for sections of their learning. This does not replace instruction, or ICT input, or indeed input from any resource.  What it does is create opportunities for efficient ‘digestion’ of new material and ideas and ensures that thinking is tested against input from others.


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