At its best, collaboration in the classroom can help students think more deeply and creatively about a subject and develop more empathy for others’ perspectives.
The best learning happens when children are actively involved in a project. Collaborative learning is an approach that encourages students to create groups and work together to solve a given problem. Pupils are able to gain many benefits when working with others including:
• Developing social skills
• Learn from peers
• Build trust
• Engage in learning
• Gain confidence
Collaborative learning has been shown to not only develop higher-level thinking skills in students, but boost their confidence and self-esteem as well. Group projects can maximize educational experience by demonstrating the material, while improving social and interpersonal skills. Students learn how to work with various types of learners and develop their leadership skills.
At Springmead we encourage collaboration as an important learning tool. It is part of our BLP scheme where collaboration is: knowing how to manage yourself in the give and take of a collaborative venture, respecting and recognising other viewpoints; adding to and drawing from the strength of teams.
Collaboration can be seen in many different guises at Springmead – small group work in class, working with others on the sports field, collecting the recycling from each class, playing games on the playground, etc. This week in the Eagles class we have been collaborating to create group narratives. The class have split in half and have been planning and writing a group story with the given title – The Secret. The children have been excited about working together and bouncing ideas off of each other. It has been brilliant to see how one child’s idea sparks excitement in another child and the idea develops further. Children who don’t always enjoy story writing have been helping to develop ideas and sharing their own suggestions confidently with their peers. It has been a very enjoyable experience to be a part of – the children even let me share some of my ideas.