Benefits of Collaborative Learning
K-12 students, especially if they’re older, are often told they need to work hard so they can be at the top of their class. This competitive framework is often valued over cooperation and collaboration, which in turn causes a clash between students. When you consider your peers as competition, it can hinder a supportive environment all around.
This doesn’t mean students shouldn’t be encouraged to succeed. But it’s important for students of all ages to interact in collaborative environments as well, and be encouraged to cooperate with one another. At Cardinal Education, we value collaborative learning, and believe that students succeed when engaging with their peers. In the midst of COVID-19, this interaction between students has become even more important to their success and growth.
Learning Pods Allow for Collaboration
As schools turned to partial or fully remote learning schedules, learning pods rose to fill that collaborative gap between K-12 students. Learning pods are small groups of students, especially younger children, who learn together. While the look and organization of these pods may look different from group to group, the New York Times reports that parents and teachers feel they’re essential so that their children can have interaction with their peers as well as in-person instruction. Learning pods also allow students to have a more set schedule, and have a school experience that feels more like it would if classes were in-person. The pods also allow for cooperation between students, so that they may work together, discuss their work, and ask questions if needed. This allows for more active engagement in school, as well as the opportunity to build oral communication skills.
Benefits of Collaboration
When considering learning pods, it’s also important to consider the benefits of your children collaborating with their peers. Small group discussions allow students to better brainstorm ideas; collaboration works as a safety net where ideas can be bounced off one another without feeling judged. Discussions can also help students understand their own strengths and weaknesses in certain subjects, and can thus allow for improved performance.
Everyone remembers being in school, and feeling too scared to ask a question. If another student asked the same question, you would have your answer, and feel more confident knowing you weren’t alone in your question. In this way, students also benefit from hearing their peers’ questions. In fact, collaborative learning can also encourage diversity understanding and build more positive relationships between students. This supportive environment can give the student the push they need to become more independent in their studies, and more confident in their skills.
For children attending school during a global pandemic, it’s understandable that they may feel more isolated from their peers. After all, they’re staring at a screen instead of another person face-to-face. However, just because the students are remote does not mean they should feel as though they can not collaborate with other students. In this way, learning pods offer a safe and constructive way for children to engage with one another. During such an uncertain time, the relationship students form with their peers as they work together is undeniably crucial to their overall development and success.
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