Saturday, January 22, 2011

Collaboration in learning



Much good can be achieved of peers learning together; bouncing ideas off each other. Healthy competition and collaboration is stimulating.

One kid sees what the other kid is doing and wants to do the same.
Another kid wants to be a part of what is going on.

The key to success is that the kids all be interested in the same topic and they have arrived at the group without coercion but with willingness and eagerness to be there.

Now in the case of Sugata Mitra's experiments, he reiterates that once he has introduced the computer to the village kids,he then leaves the kids alone. He goes away for months at a time.
http://radiofreeschool.blogspot.com/2011/01/where-teachers-wont-go.html
There is a challenge set; sometimes there is no challenge at all but the challenge of discovery that the kids set themselves.

The main thing is that the kids are left to explore. In this scenario, a kid who has a little more knowledge than another shares what they know. Together, the kids learn naturally by exploring, trying out, playing- no adults directing the process.

They've been given something intriguing. They can do it on their own.

In the John Seely Brown case studies, Maui kids got together with a common ambition; to become the world's best surfacers.
http://www.johnseelybrown.com/ncstate09.html

In Seely-Brown's Commencement Speech (given at North Carolina State University), he tells the story of Dusty Payne and his six or so kids "came together to fiercely compete but also to continuously learn from each other."
The story goes,
These kids would gather in Dusty’s living room and pour over YouTube videos and their own videos of themselves experimenting – trying impossible moves, failing, failing, failing but never getting discouraged. As a group they learned, they invented, they created new aerial moves that defy the imagination... And, as we would say in business lingo, they also studied adjacent domains such as skate boarding, snowboarding, motor cross and then built analogies from them, talked them over, analyzed them to death and then dashed down to the surf to try them out. 

Maui is now the center of this kind of extreme surfing. No, not the north shore of Oahu, but Maui – the island never known for producing a champion surfer. And all this because Dusty and his buddies decided they could do the impossible and they pushed each other and learned with and from each other to the extreme. These kids have mastered the art of innovation.

So the ideal learning situation for many is to find like minded people to share your interests. I don't think this means that participants have to all be the same age- although that is a good motivating factor.

Take a look around your community and see what's cooking and get involved.

Start your own group if there isn't one. ; put out a call in the local papers or community centre or library or --yes, school.

Don't forget the online community. This is a wonderful place to share and collaborate on projects.
I welcome your comments!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

My situation is that my sons are keen on acting, LOVE it but don't get along with the kids in the unschool drama group. I think it is important for the kids to be able to get along-to really have a connection if they are going to learn from one another. We are looking for another group. I admit I worry that I am catering to their whims and perhaps i should make them stick it out (with the unschool drama group). But there is one boy who dominates and no one does anything about it.

clementine said...

@Anon- understand! Slim pickings indeed. Try starting your own group maybe?

rfs said...

I'm starting an environmental group for youth -I work with a not for profit environmental group and i want young people to know that there is a space for them-they can join us or they can start something of their own and just use our space/resources etc

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...