How Listening & Sharing Shape Collaborative Learning

“We can learn more working together than working alone.”

We didn’t write that sentence, but we agree that it’s absolutely true! Teachers who use Great Books programs and Shared Inquiry™ know the benefits of reading and discussing texts as a group. They see firsthand that sharing interpretations and ideas–and hearing different opinions–enhances student engagement and learning. The Shared Inquiry method is based on the conviction that students gain a deeper understanding of a text when they examine it together by reading closely, asking questions and discussing their responses. But what makes such collaborative learning work?

PBS’s MindShift shared a brief, insightful excerpt from the new book  The ABC’s of How We Learn: 26 Scientifically Proven Approaches, How They Work, and When to Use Them that highlights the five key ingredients of successful collaborative learning: joint attention, listening, sharing, coordinating, and perspective taking. Written by Daniel L. Schwartz, PhD, the Dean of the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, and two Stanford colleagues, it explains the why and hows of collaborative learning.  Shared Inquiry is an ideal collaborative teaching tool & this piece explains why.



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