Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cooperative Learning

In the chapter on Cooperative Learning, the instructional strategy of cooperative learning focuses on having students interact with each other in groups in ways that enhance their learning (Hubbell, Kuhn, Malenoski, and Pitler, 2008). I understand that having students work together in cooperative groups helps them identify problems, or things that are not comprehended by other students in that group. I liked the example of explaining the jigsaw strategy that was given. I used something similar last year in my 4th grade class. We were studying the water cycle. I had the children in groups of 5 and each picked a different part of the water cycle. I then took all the "water vapors" etc and put them in the same group. I told them that they had to work together at first so they could determine how the cycle works. Then they were put into the same groupings and they had to collaborate on ways to perfect their research.

Our children of today (whether our own or our students), as well as the adults of today, have any social network that we want at our fingertips. We can look up anything, or anyone at the click of fingers. I find myself saying to other educators that I work with, "I remember when I was these kids age, I had to actually go to a library, and use a card catalog and look up the information that I wanted to research and actually go find a book and look it up!!!!" Today's children just have to point and click. So I think that as wonderful as technology has become and where it is going, they still need to be able to know that there are other ways to find what they are looking for.