Collaborative Classroom Essay

10966 Words44 Pages
What Is the Collaborative Classroom? M.B. Tinzmann, B.F. Jones, T.F. Fennimore, J. Bakker, C. Fine, and J. Pierce NCREL, Oak Brook, 1990 New Learning and Thinking Curricula Require Collaboration In Guidebook 1, we explored a "new" vision of learning and suggested four characteristics of successful learners: They are knowledgeable, self-determined strategic, and empathetic thinkers. Research indicates successful learning also involves an interaction of the learner, the materials, the teacher, and the context. Applying this research, new guidelines in the major content areas stress thinking. Guidebook 2 describes these new guidelines and provides four characteristics of "a thinking curriculum" that cut across content areas. The chief characteristic of a thinking curriculum is the dual agenda of content and process for all students. Characteristics that derive from this agenda include in-depth learning; involving students in real-world, relevant tasks; engaging students in holistic tasks from kindergarten through high school; and utilizing students' prior knowledge. Effective communication and collaboration are essential to becoming a successful learner. It is primarily through dialogue and examining different perspectives that students become knowledgeable, strategic, self-determined, and empathetic. Moreover, involving students in real-world tasks and linking new information to prior knowledge requires effective communication and collaboration among teachers, students, and others. Indeed, it is through dialogue and interaction that curriculum objectives come alive. Collaborative learning affords students enormous advantages not available from more traditional instruction because a group--whether it be the whole class or a learning group within the class--can accomplish meaningful learning and solve problems better than any individual can alone. This focus on
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