Co-operative Learning

‘Nothing we learn is more important than the skills required to work co-operatively with others. Most human interaction is co-operative. Without some skills in co-operating effectively it is difficult, if not impossible to maintain a marriage, hold a job or be part of a community, society or world.’    (Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T. et al, Co-operating in the Classroom)

At Holy Cross, the co-operative learning model is a strategy which is perceived as ideal in making our educational philosophy a reality for students, staff and parents.

The grounds for this assumption are based on research, which shows that co-operative learning is the ideal means of:

  • promoting thinking
  • problem solving skills
  • independent learning
  • communication and social skills
  • confidence and self-esteem

Co-operative learning values the individuality and uniqueness of each child. It makes diversity a resource, not a problem. It gives back to students responsibility for their own learning. The teacher structures the co-operative classroom, presents problems to be resolved, mediates group work with questions and non-judgemental feedback, monitors individual and group progress and models processes, thinking and co-operation in all areas.

To aid us in the development of social skills necessary for co-operative learning and group cohesion, the children learn about ‘KISSES’:

  • Keep on task
  • Include everyone
  • Stay with your group
  • Six centimetre voices
  • Encourage others
  • Share ideas

After most learning experiences the children reflect and report on their work using the following reflective questions:

  • What was I expected to do?
  • What did I do?
  • If I did the same task again, what would I do differently?
  • What help do I need?
  • What can my teacher do differently that will improve my learning?

The following school agreements are embedded in all learning experiences in the Holy Cross community:

  • mutual respect
  • attentive listening
  • personal best
  • no put downs
  • right to pass
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