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Cooperative learning is an instructional strategy in which small groups of students work together on a common task.
This teaching method is an excellent way to allow students to think critically without relying on teachers for answers.
MBM Training and Development Center runs a Cooperative Learning Hub, hosting a wide range of learning experiences and partners.
In the Cooperative Learning Hub we offer a platform for a face-to face interaction and a group processing, while facilitatinb a a wide range of customized courses on Cooperative Learning for teachers, trainers and companies.
Cooperative Learning, sometimes called small-group learning, is an instructional strategy in which small groups of students work together on a common task. The task can be as simple as solving a multi-step math problem together, or as complex as developing a design for a new kind of school. In some cases, each group member is individually accountable for part of the task; in other cases, group members work together without formal role assignments.
According to David Johnson and Roger Johnson (1999), there are five basic elements that allow successful small-group learning:
Cooperative learning changes students' and teachers' roles in classrooms. The ownership of teaching and learning is shared by groups of students, and is no longer the sole responsibility of the teacher. The authority of setting goals, assessing learning, and facilitating learning is shared by all. Students have more opportunities to actively participate in their learning, question and challenge each other, share and discuss their ideas, and internalize their learning. Along with improving academic learning, cooperative learning helps students engage in thoughtful discourse and examine different perspectives, and it has been proven to increase students' self-esteem, motivation, and empathy.
Some challenges of using cooperative learning include releasing the control of learning, managing noise levels, resolving conflicts, and assessing student learning. Carefully structured activities can help students learn the skills to work together successfully, and structured discussion and reflection on group process can help avoid some problems.
When implemented well, cooperative learning encourages achievement, student discussion, active learning, student confidence, and motivation. The skills students develop while collaborating with others are different from the skills students develop while working independently. As more businesses organize employees into teams and task forces, the skills necessary to be a "team player" (e.g., verbalizing and justifying ideas, handling conflicts, collaborating, building consensus, and disagreeing politely) are becoming more valuable and useful. Cooperative learning can be used in any class at any level with any subject area. Using cooperative groups to accomplish academic tasks not only provides opportunities for students to develop interpersonal skills but also gives them authentic experiences that will help them be successful in their future careers.
In MBM Training&Development Center we've worked using Cooperative Learning strategies with different companies, entrepreneurs, artistic and educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations and think tanks. Except within formal education classes, our participants have used cooperative learning in order to address challenges such as adult learning problems, strategy development, team/leadership development, organizational effectiveness, time and change management, communications and learning.
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