Collaborate to Learn and Teach

Collaborate to Learn and Teach

If we view our jobs as givers of knowledge, then our goal is to present information. This goal is well defined and measurable. “I presented chapte

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If we view our jobs as givers of knowledge, then our goal is to present information. This goal is well defined and measurable. “I presented chapter 3 today.” Done.

This doesn’t necessarily lead to students actually learning, though.

If we view our jobs as leading learning, then student, and our own, learning becomes a collaborative activity. And studies show that when learning is collaborative student motivation and achievement soars. But it also becomes more complex, there are myriad obstacles that get in the way of advancing knowledge and skills. Will the students put in the time and effort? Are they paying attention? Do they have the base skills to learn? Can we motivate them? Having the good intentions of becoming co-leaders or co-laborers is just the start. Being a collaborative learning leader required purposeful practice.

Lyn Sharratt and Beate Planche have researched the conditions and skills necessary for collaborative education to drive student learning. The key factors that contribute to effective collaboration:

  • A nonjudgmental approach to learning
  • Time to work with peers during the day
  • Opportunities to practice
  • Being a participant in inquiry
  • Having an inquiry approach modeled
  • Seeing exemplary practice
  • Watching a video of a Collaborative Inquiry process in action

Dr. Sharratt and Dr. Planche have written a practical, how-to book on ten themes for achieving proficiency as learning leaders: Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering Excellence.

They will be discussing four tenets of collaborative learning live at 6:30PM Eastern time on May 9 on Edchat Interactive.

A book or a video can present content. The best educators lead learning.

Sharratt and Planche’s research presents a map to refine our skills as co-leaders and co-learners, which is something no book or video can do.