Information provided by a teacher is not always sufficient for students to imbibe concepts. As students collaborate and learn together, they gain better knowledge about the subject. Therefore, cooperative learning is a proven technique to enhance learning. The highlighting feature is that peer group teaching serves as a learning experience. Hence, students brainstorm with the basic knowledge and dig deeper to understand concepts. When students know more ways to handle a problem, they gain more experience.
What Is the Need for Cooperative Learning?
All of us are pattern-recognizing machines. We are capable of exploring contradictions and engaging in complex concepts. Our brains process and interpret in a faster pace. Therefore, even before understanding the exact concept, we grapple with contradictory information. This leads to developing clarity about the concept.
Thus, teachers must allow students to go through their pursuit of clarity. By offering ample space and opportunities, students will be able to share experiences. With various paradoxes and perspectives, they will finally be able to attain clarity. However, to speed up the process, teachers must include effective strategies.
Strategies to Promote Concept Clarity
Three main techniques help students understand the concepts better.
In this method, the teacher points out real-life problems with the same concept of the subject. Using it helps the students to solve complex topics with interest. The teachers provide space and time for students to discuss the problem with their peers. Thus, students naturally gear up to work hard and come up with an answer to the problem.
Wicked problems strategy is a deep level learning with evaluation, discussion and reflection. It helps the student retain the concept for a long time, which yields better clarity. Here teachers continuously support without revealing the right answer. They encourage the students to figure it out by themselves. Studies state that the outcome is three times better than traditional teaching methods. The experience students gain from wicked problem strategy will be useful in the long run.
Micro Project-Based Learning
The three steps in a micro project-based learning approach are:
Teachers provide students with a real-life problem here. They then ask students to predict ways to address the problem. Students must come up with the best solutions and present their answers. Finally, coming to the reflecting part. Students must share their experience after analyzing their solutions with simple questions like:
- Which part was the most challenging?
- Have I missed anything while understanding the concept?
- What more would I like to know?
Once the students finish everything, they must revisit their projects. Comparing their learning and measuring progress will be the best self-assessment strategy. According to research, it is one of the influential variables in a student’s learning process.
A matrix launch approach uses two or more instances with the same core content about the concept. Students must identify the relationship and differences in both situations. They can use any tool to achieve their answers. As a result of this approach, students develop analytic and associative thinking skills.
Research states that students can understand what their peers project about concepts. Thus, CBSE higher secondary schools in Chennai, like Babaji Vidhyashram School, have made cooperative learning a part of their teaching strategy. As a result, they are taking initiatives to train the educators. Cooperative learning has been gaining popularity in most school curricula recently.
Summing Things Up
Clarity is not a result of class lectures and presentations. It is a byproduct of a quest. Figuring out the answers in a group with peers will help students evolve. Thus, students don’t gain clarity immediately. They create it! Research states that as students gain clarity on their concepts, their learning doubles. Therefore, provide them the space and liberty to search for answers.