Importance of Collaboration

The concept of ‘Collaborative Learning’ had been explored several times but it wasn’t until the 1980s that it caught the eye of American teachers to use this new dynamic style of learning to improve the academic ability of students. It was often seen that students were not able to express themselves mainly because of their inability to converse with their peers. ‘Collaborative Learning’ brought the idea of peer tutoring that was different from the traditional classroom practices. It did not change the academic material but it definitely changed the way students approached academics. Michael Oakeshott goes on to say that the ability of humans to partake in conversation is what makes them different from animals. It is not only important to converse with our inner-self but also with our community as a whole which intern helps us write better.This has been termed as ‘Reflective Thought’. Collaborative Learning helps create groups or communities of like minded people who share the same beliefs and values. Knowledge on the other hand is a ‘social artefact’ and therefor the process of learning has to be collaborative in order to establish the knowledge. A short experiment had been done to prove how collaborative learning can help a student learn better. In a medical class, students were asked to diagnose a patient together and not individually. By doing so it was observed that students were able to grab concepts better with the help of the ideas of their peers. Thus, collaborative learning is an essential aspect to education because it is the art of conversation that makes all the difference. All in all, Collaborative learning is a technique that engages conversation, thereby making individuals open to new ideas and opinions  and also acts as a social catalyst to interact with peers and people of the community.

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