What will our students need to prepare them for the future? The rate of change in technology is so rapid that to prepare young people to live, work and be successful in the 21st century, will require them to have the ability to think both creatively and critically to be able to problem-solve, work collaboratively in teams and use technology.
How can we help our students?
Each day in our classes we are working to build creativity and critical thinking by the types of questions we ask students. Part of this preparation for their future is giving our students the opportunity to work together in collaborative groups. Collaborative learning is more than just students working next to each other or even helping one another.
As our students work to formulate an answer to an open-ended task, they talk and work together. When they exchange ideas and insights, they work through misunderstandings, learn new content, and help each other achieve better understanding. Collaborative work enhances their learning and helps them achieve their goals.
Success is often based on effective application of knowledge to solve problems and create new ideas and information. Working collaboratively prepares our students for work, as we know most social, and workplace problems are solved by groups, not individuals. Having them work together to achieve a goal helps them appreciate the value of the contributions and opinions of all team members as well as preparing them for life in the 21st century.
Problem-solving in teams requires a variety of skills and expertise. To achieve the team goal our students must use each member’s strength and perspective. The team members identify and explore their own strengths and weaknesses as they gain an understanding of how combining each individual’s skills contributes to greater success than can be achieved by one person.
Collaborative work also develops our student’s social skills such as interpersonal communication, trust, and the ability to work with others. However, it can also lead to significant development in individual understanding.
Part of each week here at Cedars includes opportunities for our students to engage in collaborative learning that will develop their skills for future.