Collaborative learning is an educational method to teaching and learning that comprises of pupils working together in groups to complete an assignment. This concept of group learning has been significantly associated with Vvgotsy’s idea of the ‘zone of proximal development’, which explores what pupils can do when assisted and directed by adults or peers.
There are several benefits of using group work in schools, here are just a few:
Group work teaches pupils the key skills that are required to work as a united team towards a mutual goal. Teamwork facilitates a variety of skills that will be beneficial for pupils later in life, such as interpersonal skills and co-operation. When working in a group, pupils must agree on who does what in accordance with their skill set.
As a teacher it is not unusual to come across conflict between pupils. By enabling these pupils to work in groups together, it will help them to put their differences aside and establish mutual respect. When the activity is complete, the environment in the classroom will be more harmonious.
Collaborative learning and working as part of a team, improves children’s social and emotional skills, helps develop their communication skills and builds their confidence.
Variety is the Spice of Life
The school day can be mundane and predictable for both pupils and teachers. If you are bored of your classroom routine, why not look to introduce and regularly set up group work as a way of mixing things up. By initiating a new way for pupils to learn, you will prevent monotony from creeping in and you will bring fun to your classroom. For more ideas on how to bring more fun into your classroom, check out our 5 Ways to Bring More Fun to the Classroom blog.
Group work can be an effective approach to encourage active learning, motivate pupils and develop team work, communication, critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills. School Dry wipe magnetic whiteboards such as our A2 Wedge Whiteboard are double sided and are therefore perfectly suited to group work.
By introducing group work into your classroom, you are creating opportunities for collaborative learning and the development of cooperative learning skills. By working in small groups, pupils can learn from and support each other, and provides the opportunity for you as a teacher, to cater for individual differences. By structuring groups appropriately, you can allocate tasks in accordance with the educational needs of individual pupils.
We would love to hear what group work activities you conduct in your classroom. Please feel free to leave us a comment.
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