Cooperative Learning and Curriculum for Excellence in Colleges
The philosophy behind Cooperative Learning is to ensure that learners, when working in groups, have equal participation and are individually accountable for their own learning. Cooperative Learning provides learners with structures to work efficiently as part of a team, avoiding the common pitfalls associated with group work. It encourages learners to take responsibility for their own learning and enhances learners’ social awareness and social interaction skills whilst delivering curriculum content.
Research has shown that cooperative learning techniques:
- promote student learning and academic achievement
- increase student retention
- enhance student satisfaction with their learning experience
- help students develop skills in oral communication
- develop students' social skills
- promote student self-esteem
- help to promote positive race relations.
Sinclair Margaret (2004) Learning to Live Together, UNESCO: International Bureau of Education, Geneva, Gillies, R.M. (2007) Cooperative Learning – Integrating Theory and Practice, London: Sage Publications Ltd
Johnson, D.W. (1993) ‘Impact of cooperative and individualistic learning on high ability students’ achievement, self-esteem and social acceptance’ Journal of Social Psychology, 133:6 (1993:Dec)
Kagan, S and Kagan, M (2009) Kagan Cooperative Learning, San Clements: Kagan
McAlister, Clare (2010) Cooperative Learning in Scotland. Perspectives on the role of cooperative learning in supporting curricular policy and innovation. The Curriculum Journal.
Cooperative Learning Events
Further photos from Cooperative Learning events held at James Watt College, Kilmarnock College and Edinburgh College can be viewed on drop box.
‘Very worthwhile for me as an educator. Refreshing to learn this method in learning and teaching. Very very useful’.
‘Dynamic, creative, innovative and lively session with real application to the classroom. You provided a toolbox of techniques and approaches which are invaluable to any lecturer’.
‘I learned more in the two days than in the whole of my TQFE’.
Edinburgh College asked for comments from their students when they tried cooperative learning in the classroom:
‘I like to work in a group of 3 or 4 as I feel there are more people to contribute to the task. A bigger group means that there will be more ideas to think about and more people to discuss whether you think something is correct. It is important to mix the group as you need to learn to speak and work with new people. Every person works in an individual way and has their own ideas. It is important to share notes and findings with the rest of the group as they may need help on a certain part of the task. Sharing your notes means other people can learn parts they have missed or may think your way of writing things is easier to understand’.
'Mixing the groups up gives a realistic experience of deal with change in the workplace; colleagues and their roles are always changing. Also it can be interesting to share ideas with a variety of people to broaden your learning experience since everyone has a different take on the subject or task. 4 in the group is good because there are enough people to bounce ideas off but not too many that it can become intimidating for some quieter members of the class. In groups this size I find that people do slot into certain roles ie facilitator, harmoniser, ideas generator and the work therefore produced is more structured and worthwhile’.
Angus College Cooperative Learning Theme Day: Alice in Wonderland
College Development Network and Cherry Hopton (Angus College) facilitated a very successful training course on cooperative learning and would like to share the resources with the college sector. View the resources in drop box.
Great to see cooperative learning being recognised at Angus College. Well done to Cherry Hopton for all her hard work! Arbroath Herald - 14 September 2013.
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Email Aileen Duffy