Have you tried to explain a complicated concept to a friend only to discover, while talking, that it was clearer in your head? Or, have you ever thought you understood a concept, but discovered that you were missing important pieces when you tried to explain it to someone else?
Have you ever shared a new idea with a group, only to discover than your idea grows stronger--gains strength--through the discussion itself?
We ask our students to do lots of work together. They solve math problems together, conduct experiments together, analyze texts together, and construct their understandings, together.
The work of collaboration orients students toward creating something that is greater than what they might produce on their own. And in this process, some truly transformative learning happens.
Here are just a few abilities students cultivate by working collaboratively:
Establishing trust and taking intellectual risks
Listening to and building on the ideas of others
Critiquing ideas, not people
Challenging existing narratives
Changing minds through evidence and persuasion
Navigating and managing conflict
We live in a complex, complicated world. Our work as teachers is to help students develop the ability to not only navigate this world, but to be positioned as citizens capable of solving problems together, and ultimately bringing about meaningful change in the communites where they will work and live.
If you would like to read a more about the collaboration skills we are cultivating at LREI click the following link: