Collaborative learning: what is it and what are its advantages?

The times are changing. Young people carry cell phones and are born with an iPad under their arm, developing a level of self-learning and independence never seen before. Well, with teaching and especially in schools, it is exactly the same thing: there is also this constant interconnection to learn.

Collaborative learning is a rising trend in which elementary school students learn to manage their tasks in a cooperative manner, thereby reducing the burden and authority that rested exclusively on the figure of the teacher.

    What is collaborative learning?

    Today, the working and professional world it requires more and more work and team dynamics, Working groups and structures that are more horizontal than hierarchical. In this way, the values ​​of collaborative learning have been promoted in schools for years to ensure, among many objectives, that future generations are prepared for the new labor market.

    Collaborative learning is part of a teaching model which has been applied in the classroom for nearly a decade and consists essentially of the cognitive development of pupils aged 7 to 15, making this learning a progressive development of the interaction between people.

    In addition, collaborative learning it can improve the integration between students of different cultures, Religions and customs due to the multicultural character that more and more modern societies around the world are acquiring.

      Benefits of this learning method

      Below are the 7 benefits that collaborative learning can offer.

      1. Fight anxiety

      Often the personality and confidence of students has been diminished by the imposing authority of the faculty and archaic teaching models, Especially the primary, where people take in more information and start to get worried.

      By involving children from an early age, it helps to increase their self-confidence and self-esteem, allowing greater personal development which will be beneficial in the long run.

      Thus, collaborative learning makes it possible to reduce the doses of anxiety because it allows students relax and work in a harmonious atmosphere where they find enough time to reflect, rehearse and generate feedback from each other, as peer support is a key part of this method.

      2. It optimizes teaching

      Due to the low ratio that exists today between teacher-student (the result of overcrowded classes), collaborative learning allows schools maximize all the resources you have thus optimizing the teaching process.

      3. Develop independence

      As we have seen above, these learning dynamics they considerably reduce the dependence of the pupils on the teacherBecause when faced with any problem or doubt to be resolved, classmates are offered the kind of necessary assistance that was previously the exclusive task of teachers.

      Likewise, among the members of the cooperative group, a code of conduct, an adaptation of the subject, a vocabulary and even a communication resulting from feedback between the students themselves can be developed. This does not mean that in a specific case the figure of the teacher does not come into play as much.

      4. Reinforce critical thinking

      As long as students work and develop their activities in a collaborative environment, they will also learn to project their own thoughts and concerns with more freedom and daring, favoring reflection and the development of metacognitive skills.

      5. Individual responsibility

      As a member of a team or a working group, each member is considered individually responsible for contributing in the same direction to the achievement of the group’s objectives.

      At the same time the participation of each individual it must be with equal opportunity, in an equivalent manner and with the same degree of responsibility and prominence as the rest of the members. Only in this way is it possible to eliminate a thought and make it individualistic.

      6. Contributes to positive interdependence

      It has to do directly with the ultimate goal or the goal pursued by the group in question. It is directly linked to the individual tasks of each member who, connoisseur of collective interest, Must do everything possible to help and meet the demand of other members when they need it.

      In all groups there are better prepared and less well prepared students. But the latter can benefit from the knowledge of the former, while the more advanced can also enrich and strengthen their capacities and skills.

        7. It responds to a heterogeneous and multicultural society

        Societies change, customs evolve and acquire an increasingly complex character. Collaborative learning you can enjoy this kind of diversity and make it a powerful educational resource.

        In this way, it is possible to positively use the variety and richness of experiences that the school can offer, thus allowing the evolution of intellectual capacitiesEmpowerment to improve the capacity for expression and communication, as well as to increase the capacity for verbal comprehension.

        Where some see difficulties in managing a class of children from different cultures, in some cases leading to school ghettos, cooperation becomes a necessity to address the “problem”.

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