5 Benefits of Cooperative Learning

Educators from elementary school through college depend on cooperative learning to enhance their lessons and improve student education. Also known as “collaborative learning,” the concept involves having the students work together in small groups on activities or projects. The goal of this type of collaboration is to teach kids the material, as well as to impart a number of life skills. Read on to learn about the the top benefits learning together provides students.

1. Improved Academics

This type of learning has been highly researched throughout the years and has shown countless times that the concept improves student learning. That includes leading to better grades. Studies have incorporated student groups from various ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic demographics. Similar conclusions tell the tale of an overall enhanced learning experience. Working together allows students who struggle academically to learn from those who understand the material and exposes learners to diverse populations of students they might not interact with under other circumstances.

2. Higher Level Thinking Skills

One of the key reasons this exposure to a broad array of classmates is important and leads to improved learning is due to the achievement of a concept known as “higher level thinking skills.” These skills develop through encountering different ways of approaching a problem that vary from one’s own. As students work together, they are able to experience the ways in which others think regarding the task at hand. Such exposure then leads to the individual to develop a higher level of thinking than previously possessed.

 3. Social Skills

Cooperative learning encourages a number of social benefits. By working together, students learn more effective communication and interpersonal skills. They learn to listen to each other and to resolve conflicts. Collaborating in this way brings them together as a class, leading to overall better social relations and acceptance among the group.

4. Personal Responsibility

Collaborative learning activities greatly increase responsibility in individual students. They know they must take part in some portion of the exercise in order for the entire team to succeed. Accountability is also gained, as students are aware they will feel the backlash from the group if they fail to pull their own weight and to do their part.

5. Self-Awareness

Working with others allows for individuals to learn about themselves. Through participation in groups, students are able to discover such things as whether they are leaders, if they listen to others’ ideas and if they struggle to share their ideas for fear of ridicule or rejection. Without these types of interactions, such discoveries cannot occur. These experiences also lead to improved self-esteem in students and feeling more confident in their own abilities.

All of these benefits are characteristics that employers look for in workers and ones which will help students in various aspects of daily living. thus, cooperative learning is an educational component that should be in every classroom in order to promote these benefits and lead to student comfort in continuing to pursue these skills.