November 11, 2011
Writer: Hayden Coombs
How and Why to Increase Student Participation in Learning
Getting students to actively participate in the classroom is one of the most difficult parts of teaching. At the recent faculty conference, Brother Stan Kivett addressed this issue during his presentation on increasing student collaboration in the classroom.
Brother Kivett went into depth on the teaching process of explain, share and testify.
"When students explain what they've learned, they are practicing, processing, assimilating and perfecting their knowledge. When they share, they personalize, illustrate and apply. And when they testify, they convince, own and embrace." He continued saying, "This process not only helps the student, but all those around him or her."
There are many positive outcomes that come from increasing meaningful collaboration between students in learning. Some of these reasons include: creating synergy throughout the entire class, an increase of personal investment from the students, increased learning retention and increased persistence in learning.
The only problem with collaborative learning and teaching is the fact that most tests and exams are written in a non-collaborative way. If tests are non-collaborative, students would rather receive their education in a non-collaborative manner.
Brother Kivett concluded by saying, "The whys and hows of collaborative learning will become clearer to us as we continue to experiment. Sometimes teachers give up on promoting teaching experiences between students because previous efforts did not produce the desired results. We must have enough faith in the value of collaboration that we pay the price to become proficient in its use."