Inclusion Of Collaborative Learning Strategies For The Advancement Of Academic Learning

Inclusion Of Collaborative Learning Strategies For The Advancement Of Academic Learning

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The act of learning has always been influenced by social dimensions. By intuition, humans tend to team up with other people to perform tasks more efficiently. Based on this reasoning, a shift has recently taken place in the educational system for the inclusion of collaborative learning strategies for the advancement of academic learning. According to English professor Kenneth A. Bruffee, collaborative learning is “a form of indirect teaching in which the teacher sets the problem and organizes the students to work it out collaboratively” (Trimbur 87). This practice allows students to trade their passive role in the classroom to become responsible explorers of knowledge. As an international student who is constantly seeking to improve her skills in the English language, collaborative opportunities have enabled me to meet with experienced native English speakers who have shared much of their knowledge with me. Although collaborative learning’s aspect of socialization has shown to be central for the improvement of language skills of students who speak English as a second language, their different cultural conventions and languages can be obstacles in the process.
Bruffee’s statement on thought as a social artifact backs up the notion of strategic teamwork behind collaborative learning. He tells that thoughts are the result of an inner conversation of the individual, also known as reflective thinking. This personal interchange of ideas inside people’s minds is essentially related to the social conversations they’ve experience as they grow up. (Bruffee 208-209). Thus, Bruffee associates internalized conversations to the way writing works: “Writing always has its roots deep in the acquired ability to carry on the social symbolic exchang...


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...benefit from this method. My experience as one can relate to the easiness of thought that come up from conversations, as well from small-group collaboration. Nonetheless, the theories proposed on this type of learning don’t take into consideration that the English proficiency of these students may be an obstacle for getting the best out of collaborative learning. Cultural conventions may also be an obstacle, like in Latin cultures where adults hold authority that is never questioned. Although the theories on collaborative learning came about in decades ago, it is important to take a look at these cultural considerations because the United States is now educating millions of Hispanics have established in this country. This is the reality today and the educational system should look forward adjusting to their needs because one day, they may end up becoming a majority.

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