This week, Derrick Swistak and I had the opportunity to present at the Illinois New Teacher Collaborative (http://intc.education.illinois.edu/home). The focus of the conference was developing effective mentoring programs for new teachers. What better way to support new teachers than through Cooperative Learning! You can find our presentation here.
Aside from the one hour awareness session, we had some great discussions with teachers from all over the state. In our view, Cooperative Learning is VITAL for new teachers. With all of the pressures that new teachers face, Cooperative Learning provides numerous benefits.
- Classroom management issues are dealt with by teaching and reinforcing the social skills.
- Cooperative Learning is a researched based pedagogy with thousands of years of data that is justifiable to administrators.
- The student directed nature of positive interdependence allows new teachers the freedom and flexibility to differentiate their instruction and a much higher level then they would otherwise be capable of.
- The Danielson Rubric (which we have adopted as our formal evaluation tool) refers heavily to good cooperative practice.
Is Cooperative Learning part of your new teacher training? We would love to hear your thoughts!