Monday, June 23, 2014

Learning: The Social Quotient?

Yesterday as I considered an author that doesn't speak to me, I wondered why. Then I realized that the author promotes mostly independent, isolated learning experiences--experiences embraced by many, and found to be successful in many ways.

The author doesn't speak to me however, because I am not looking for more individual, isolated learning events. I'm not looking for those events because I have enough already, and I find that for many students those learning experiences are not as engaging as social learning events.

Students like to work together, and as Hattie's research promotes, they learn a lot when they work together. When children work together they are talking, strategizing, creating, assessing, problem solving, and revising in an ongoing way. If the social learning event is well designed, there is little need for the teacher to continually prompt students to stay on task or complete the work as the children do that for each other.

As I consider this factor more, I realize that what's wrong with a lot of curriculum design is that it does not include the social quotient enough. Good learning choreography employs the right mix of social and independent learning work and chooses that mix with respect to the individual needs and interest of the students in the learning community.

As I think about the social quotient, I am reminded of the following learning events that positively promote successful learning and collaboration:
  • TEAM Research
  • Movie Making
  • Script Writing Using Google Docs and Tables
  • Rich Problem Solving
  • Scientific Exploration and Investigation
  • Service Learning
  • Guided Social Media
  • Google Doc Writing Threads
  • Learning Display Creation
What would you add to the list? How do you determine the just right social/independent learning mix for your class? What curriculums do you employ that include a positive social quotient? What is your own social quotient for optimal learning, and what is the social quotient for each of your students? I'm curious about this topic, and look forward to any ideas, links, or research you may have or know about in this regard--please share.

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