It’s all about Cooperative Learning these days.
Think back to your middle or high school years for a minute. Did you ever have an assignment that felt a little more social compared to taking notes during a lecture? Because of that, did you get more out of it? Yes? Then odds are that wasn’t just a coincidence. You were probably involved in something called cooperative learning!
“Research suggests that if you want more students to learn more material, if you want students to feel more confident about themselves, and to be motivated to learn, if you want them to accept differences among students, then you should have your students learn cooperatively,” (Johnson and Johnson, 1982; Johnson, 1981).
What is cooperative learning you might ask?
Here is a video that explains it, as well as some different strategies:
Some of my favorite quotes from this video:
- Teachers should not come to class with the same lesson plans each and every day.
- Allow students to hear the voice of someone different.
- Change things up.
- Hearing from their peers gives students a break from boring teacher lectures.
- It’s all about the students.
- The students are the center of learning, not the teachers.
- Key component of twenty first century life skills.
- We are smarter together as a group, than we are as individuals.
Here is a specific example of a cooperative learning activity that could be used in a science classroom:
What makes this a cooperative learning strategy?
- Students use their own ideas, as well as getting information from their peers.
- This gets the students up and out of their seats, away from a typical teacher lesson.
- This strategy is very student centered.
How can this be made into a science lesson?
- Say you’re teaching a lesson on mitosis, and there’s about to be an exam that you want to have your students spend a day reviewing for.
- On the cards, there could be pictures of each phase of mitosis and also have cards that have a description of each phase.
- It could look something like this:
There are lots of benefits that come from cooperative learning:
- Higher student achievement
- Increased productivity
- Higher-level reasoning
- Transfer of knowledge
- Heightened self-confidence
- Increased independence
- Increased autonomy
Raise your hand if you would rather sit in a boring lecture than talk to your peers? No one? Then cooperative learning is for you! Get your students out of their seats and get them talking!@AnnMacKenzie #scienceteaching #EDT431
— Miss Welsh (@MissWelsh3) October 3, 2018