(This is just a Google Series intermission! Have no fear!)
In groups, I see kids gravitate towards what they know. They choose the task they are most suited to do. They regurgitate the knowledge they already firmly held.
That isn’t learning. And, while they may be very good at it… it isn’t helping them get the most out of the experience.
This is the concept behind Cooperative Learning. In Group Work, students choose a task and complete it with the group. In Cooperative Learning… Students are assigned roles that contribute to the learning of the whole. Cooperative Learning works best when it is used often. Sometimes students will choose the role they know they are good at… other times, they teacher will assign the a role which will force them to grow.
This has been my thought process as I debate my choices for my masters degree. I have narrowed it down to two choices (well, two for this masters, anyway). The programs I am choosing between are either: something that I know well, that will get me where I want to go (aka, the less challenging route) vs. something I don’t know as well, that will also get me where I want to go. (aka, the scarier, more challenging route.)
I’m excited to say, that as a (more) mature learner, I understand that I’ll grow more in the program full of new topics for me to study. It will be a different road, a more challenging one, but it will be worth it.
These are the moments I look for in my students. I alternate between them choosing roles and me assigning them… at some point, some of them decide to jump in and try something new, all on their own. When I recognize this, my heart smiles.
Today my heart is smiling at the re-realized remembrance that teachers are learners too.
What do you still want to learn? Please share it with me!