Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Archive: Collaborative Learning

The purpose of this blog is to summarize articles on teaching English/language arts, from kindergarten through college, published in English education journals from the past.

Topic: Collaborative Learning

Title: Focus on Collaborative Learning. Ed. Jeff Golub and the NCTE Committee on Classroom Practices. (Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1988, 170 pp. Reviewed by Terry Nienhuis. College Composition and Communication (October 1989), 355-356. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Question/Summary: What are some questions concerning collaborative learning in the classroom? The reviewer says, “As many who have tried this pedagogy know, it is not merely a way for teachers to take a vacation. Teachers must design projects that really achieve useful objectives; they must teach students the skill required to work effectively in groups; they must deal with a large number of logistical problems; they must learn how to monitor the group work and mediate effectively; they must deal with the enormous problem of evaluation; and they must even know when collaborative learning must be set aside for more conventional pedagogy.”

Comment: In my book, Teaching Writing, How To…. I describe how, using an article by David M. Litsey, English Journal, 1969, I helped students understand the roles people play in helping or hindering group work. I did not deal with the other problems in collaborative learning discussed by the writers in this book. RayS.

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