• Laetitia deVries

How do I work with someone else for learning?

We often talk about collaboration but what does this really mean for your child?

Will they;

  • Learn anything?

  • Be emotionally safe?

  • Get an opportunity to talk or share their ideas?

  • End up doing all of the thinking and work?

A learning community made up of diverse people so finding a meeting place for thinking can be challenging. This is reflective of many of our work environments. Many successful businesses today depend on collaboration and sharing of ideas so learning these skills to benefit ourselves as well as others is valuable.

Your child will have ideas that are great on their own but put them together with someone else and make something magical.

If collaboration is nurtured with structure and purpose it expands learning and skills in the learning process that is extremely powerful. Evidence and research have suggested that learning can be accelerated when collaborating and learning alongside others.

When we have the best tools for collaboration it inspires learning that no one sees coming!

Collaboration to me;

  • Turns learning into an active process exploring and generating new ideas.

  • Expects a willingness to put ideas together to make a better idea

  • Embraces a safe learning culture for acknowledging, valuing and respecting others ideas, thinking, skills, experience, and creativity.

  • Requires active listening to others feelings, opinions, ideas.

  • Distributes workload.

  • Increases learning possibilities and opportunities.

  • Poses ideas you never thought of before.

  • Powerful for positive and creative problem-solving.

  • Opens opportunities to talk about learning and thinking

  • Provides support for each other through the learning process.

  • Improves a shared understanding, creating a meeting place of the minds

  • Creates a safe and respectful, sharing and caring learning community.

  • Depends on curiosity for researching and exploring new ideas.

  • Creates self-awareness of ourselves as a thinker and a learner.

How can we map out a structure and a process to develop confidence and skills for collaboration?

  1. Pose a question for everyone in your family to consider

  • What is learning?

  • How can we get all of our jobs done after school?

  1. Set the expectations.

  • Participation is needed for learning to happen for you.

  • Contributions of ideas and beliefs will help us to think in a new way

  • Everyone's voice is heard and matters - so be brave!

  • All ideas are great ideas! Let's make everyone feel like they are valued.

  • Be open to new ideas because we can create more awesome ideas if we put all of our ideas together.

  1. Ask a powerful question to keep the learning flowing. (write them down for everyone to see).

  • What is your idea?

  • Do you have a question?

  • I need to understand…

  • What new information did you find out?

  • What can we create if we put our ideas together?

Creating a visual map of all of your ideas to go back to, think about and add to over time makes this even more powerful.

Questions you can ask at home to begin the collaboration journey...

  • What question did you ask at school today?

  • How did someone help you today? or How did you help someone today?

  • Who showed you something new today?

  • Who did you see caring for someone else today?

  • Who did you see sharing, thinking, working hard today?

These are powerful questions that will nurture your child's compassion for others, open pathways for igniting new relationships in the classroom, potentially engage some responsibility and accountability for learning at school.

Collaboration is such a powerful way to think about learning!

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