At St Wilfrid’s we promote the use of collaborative learning. We employ collaborative structures within lessons which enable students to make individual progress in tandem with others, working towards a common goal. It has a number of benefits for students:
- Improved performance: research shows that collaborative methods are much more valuable than individualistic methods in building student performance and progression.
- Embedded learning: going far above and beyond the broadcast approach, collaboration embeds knowledge more powerfully through listening and sharing. A student is more likely to remember something learnt with and from a peer than something broadcast from the front of the classroom. The dialogue and discussion over new ideas and approaches to solving the task set make it more memorable and require a deeper level of skills.
- Confidence building: well-planned collaboration allows all students to recognise and value the importance of their own contributions. It emboldens them with the confidence to teach and learn from others – not only their peers, but their teachers too.
- Improved psychological health: there has been found to be a strong correlation between cooperativeness and psychological health. A more collaborative approach could lead to better emotional maturity, well-adjusted social relations, strong personality identity, ability to cope with adversity, basic trust and optimism about people, and independence and autonomy.
- Inclusivity: there is no such thing as an ‘average’ child, and collaborative learning plays to this. It can give outlier students unique ways forward. They bring their own strength and skills, which are recognised and valued by other students. Effective collaboration recognises the merit of everyone in the group, allowing each child to work to their strengths and gain support from others when needed.
- Well-rounded citizens: this may seem a bold claim, but as mentioned at the beginning, what we learn in childhood, we take into adult life. Collaborative practice can become so inculcated in a person that they take their skills not only on to further education and work, but into their personal lives too. The more people are equipped this way, the more harmonious society can become.