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Sociocultural theory in collaborative learning - Essay Example

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In practice, the concept of collaborative learning has come to mean “students working in pairs or small groups to achieve shared learning goals. It is learning through group work rather than learning by working alone” …
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Sociocultural theory in collaborative learning
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It is a pedagogy that has at its centre the assumption that people make meaning together and that the process enriches and enlarges them”. The debate about the definition of term ‘collaborative’ as well as ongoing attempts to identify relevant criteria to determine whether learning is collaborative or not does not seem to have any major implications for the basics of collaborative learning.
Almost every research study exploring collaborative learning environment comes to positive conclusions. Natasi and Clements (1991) summarize these conclusions in the following way: “Cognitive-academic and social-emotional benefits have been reported for students from early elementary through college level, from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and having a wide range of ability levels… Furthermore, cooperative learning has been used effectively across a wide range of content areas, including mathematics, reading, language arts, social studies and science”.
Initially, research in the realm of collaborative learning focused on functioning of an individual learner in a group: the theories which dominated cognitive psychology over the 1970s tended to emphasise the role of individual information processors in the process of cognition. The social context of this process was viewed as secondary to individual activity. The last decades of the 20th century were marked by increased attention to the social context, and, consequently, improved understanding of the process of cognition. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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