The ways of increasing the effectiveness of training are sought by the pedagogues of all countries. The technology of cooperation is considered in the world pedagogy as the most successful alternative to traditional methods.
Innovative pedagogical technologies are interrelated, interdependent and constitute a certain didactic system aimed at fostering such values as honesty, benevolence, empathy, mutual assistance and ensuring the educational needs of each student in accordance with its individual characteristics.
Cooperation technologies realize democracy, equality, partnership in subject relations between the teacher and the child. The teacher and students work together to develop the goals, the contents of the class, and assess them, being in a state of cooperation, co-creation. The technology of cooperation has the following classification characteristics:
– on the level of application — general pedagogical technology;
– on a philosophical basis — humanistic;
– on the orientation to personal structures — comprehensively harmonious;
– by the nature of the content: teaching + educational, secular, humanistic, general, penetrating;
– by type of management: small group system;
– on the approach to the child: humane-personal, subject-subject;
– by the prevailing method: problem-searching, creative, dialogical, playful.
In teaching, built on the basis of cooperation technology, a direct goal is the development of intellectual, spiritual and physical abilities, interests, motives, the development of a scientific-materialistic worldview. The content of the lesson in such instruction is the mastering of the ways of cognition, socially and personally significant transformations in the surrounding reality, and not the program knowledge and material of the textbook.
Even in Solomon's Holy Book there are words that explain the advantages of cooperation: «Two are better than one, for their hard work is worthy to be rewarded». If one falls, the second one will help him rise. But who is alone, if he falls, there is no one raise... The two will defeat the one with whom none of them can cope singly. The rope, woven from three ropes, will not be broken soon».
The methods of work are joint activities, search, all kinds of cooperation between the teacher and students. The main idea of this technology is to create conditions for active students in different learning situations.
Students are different — some quickly learn all the explanations of the teacher, they are ready to answer any questions; others need not only time to reflect on the material, but also additional examples, explanations. These students, as a rule, hesitate to ask questions in the presence of the whole class, and sometimes they simply do not realize what exactly they do not understand and can not correctly formulate the question. If in such cases to combine the children into small groups (3–5 people each) and give them ONE common task, a situation arises in which everyone answers not only for the result of their work (which often leaves them indifferent), but, what is especially important, for the result of the whole group. Therefore, weak students are trying to find out from the more prepared students all the questions they do not understand. Students are interested in ensuring that all members of the group, thoroughly understand the material, have checked their own understanding of the issue, have reached the bottom. Thus, joint efforts eliminate gaps. This is the general idea of learning in cooperation.
The technology of cooperation is one of the technologies of personality-oriented learning, which is based on the principles:
– the interdependence of the members of the group;
– the personal responsibility of each group member for their own and the group success.
There are several options for implementing technology cooperation
- Student team learning (STL, training in a team).
In this variant of training implementation, special attention is paid to «team goals» and team success, which can be achieved only as a result of the independent work of each group member (team) in constant interaction with other students of the same group when working on a topic / question / issue to be studied. Thus, the task of each team member is to master the necessary knowledge, form the necessary skills and at the same time the whole team must know what everyone has achieved.
In short, STL subdivided into three basic principles:
a) Teams / groups receive one team reward at all in the form of scores in points, a certificate of badge, praise, other types of evaluation of joint activities. Groups do not compete with each other, because they all have different «bars» and they are given different time to achieve it.
b) «Individual» (personal) responsibility of each means that the success or the whole group failure depends on the success or failure of each member. This encourages all the students of the team to follow the successes of each other and the whole team, to come to the aid of their friend in mastering, understanding the material so that everyone feels like an expert on this issue.
c) Equal opportunities for success mean that each student brings points to his group, which she earns by improving her own previous results. The comparison, therefore, is not carried out with the results of other students in this or other groups, but with their own results, previously achieved. This gives the advanced, intermediate and backward students equal opportunities in obtaining points for their team. Since, trying to improve the results of the previous survey, exams (and improving them), both middle and weak students can bring their team equal points, which allows them to feel full members of the team and stimulates the desire to raise their personal «bar».
Options for such an approach to the organization of training in cooperation can be considered: a) individual group (student-teams — achievement divisions — STAD) and b) team-games (teams — games — tournament — TGT).
a) In the first case, the students are divided into groups of 4 people (necessarily different in terms of training level, the teacher explains the new material, and then invites the students in the groups to consolidate it, try to understand it and all the details.) From the psychological point of view, the task is performed, as in the previous case or in parts (each member of the group fulfills its part), or by «turntables» (each student performs one of the tasks: can begin a strong student, or weak). In this case, each task commented students and supervised the entire group.
After the tasks are completed by all groups, the teacher gives a test to check the understanding of the new material. Test assignments students perform individually, outside the group. At the same time, the teacher necessarily differentiates tasks for strong and weak students in terms of complexity and volume. But unlike the previous case, each student is evaluated personally, and his mark does not affect the results of the group.
- Another variant of the training organization in the collaboration of «Jigsaw» is referred to abbreviated «saw».
Students are grouped in groups of six to work on educational material, which is divided into fragments (logical and semantic blocks). The whole team can work on the same material. But at the same time each member of the group gets a topic, which he develops especially carefully and becomes an expert in it. Meetings of experts from different groups are held. Then everyone reports in his group about the work done. Everyone needs to listen carefully to each other, make notes. At the final stage, the teacher can ask any student in the group a question about the topic. Either students undergo an individual control section, which is evaluated. The results are summarized. The team with the highest score is rewarded.
- Another option of learning in cooperation is learning together (learning together).
The group is divided into heterogeneous (according to the level of training of a subgroup of 3–5 people). Each group receives one task, which is a subtask of some great topic, over which the whole group works. As a result of the joint work of individual subgroups, the mastering of the entire material is achieved. The basic principles — the award to the whole team, the individual approach, the equal opportunities — work here too. Within the group, students independently determine the roles of each not only for the performance of the overall task, but also for organizing the coordinated, successful work of the entire group. Monitoring of each member group activity in the solution of the common task, the culture of communication within the group; fixing of intermediate and final results; registration of these results and of course their correction, etc. Thus, from the outset, the group has, as it were, a dual task: on the one hand, the academic one is the achievement of some cognitive, creative goal, and on the other, social or socio-psychological (the implementation of a specific culture of communication during the performance of the task). Both are equally important.
The importance of this approach to education, very clearly expressed the prominent American businessman John Grillos: «I am little concerned about the strength of the knowledge acquired by students in this or that area, because this knowledge is subject to change every year and this knowledge becomes outdated sometimes before students can learn them. It is much more important that young people come to the economy who are able to learn how to work independently with information, independently improve their knowledge and skills in different areas, acquiring new knowledge and professions, if necessary, because this is what they will have to do all their conscious life».
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