Cooperative Kids

Cooperative Kids

If you put a teacher from 19th century into a modern classroom she would be able to carry on teaching without pause. Teaching methods have hardly changed in one hundred years. The idea remains that students are empty containers, which the teacher fills with knowledge, and that all students have to do is listen and write. However, this approach no longer works. The teacher’s role is no longer simply to feed information to students. Facts are available in libraries, onn CD ROMS and on the Internet. What students need are the skills to find this information, to use it and to think creatively in order to solve the problems of our world. One teacher believes that cooperative learning is the future of education and thinks of it as the best way to encourage responsibility, tolerance and helpfulness towards others. Pupils learn to work first in pairs, then in threes, and finally in teams of four. Students are required to paarticipate actively in discussing and shaping their own knowledge. The teacher, who is still very important to the process, becomes the helper rather that the master. One teacher, Lynne Gedye, has been using cooperative learning in her classes for two ye

ears. She says, “The children’s response was amazing. The strong ones coached the week ones endlessly so that they could participate in the question too.” All in all, it seems that cooperative learning turns the classroom from a competitive arena into a place where learning facts and life skills is both more fun and more effective for pupils and teachers alike.

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