Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Student Perspectives: Cooperative learning groups
David: What I like best about working as a group is there’s always more than one opinion. You’ll always find that someone will disagree with you or have another view and that will make the project better. It will put more color into the project. It will make things interesting because it will give you things to think about.
Leo: Working in a group, you get to share different opinions that you probably wouldn't get to share with the whole class. [It] helps to exchange ideas among your peers, because those are the people that you're going to be working with in the future. I think it kind of helps the class along when we get to discuss what we have in common with government and what we don't have in common with government. People have a lot to bring to the group from different aspects of their art and their background. My friend's father is a diplomat of Russia, and he just knows so much about their culture and language and government and he brings that to the group, whereas I know about the Dominican Republic and its government and language and I bring that to the group. We compare and contrast ideas and then come to an agreement. Then we bring it back to the class and kind of educate them with what we've learned and what we've experienced.
Myra: Since we are all seniors [in the theater department], I have spent four years with these guys and it’s just natural to be working with them. We shoot off ideas and see what we all agree with and go back and forth. For the most part we have had similar experiences, or at least explored similar pieces and similar artists, so picking which ones is not simple but it’s a unified experience. As far as what to present and how to make it more interesting to the rest of the class, we have been taught and we know what works for us and what will work for our classmates. I think one incredibly important element is that everyone is involved and everyone contributes the same amount of energy and thinking. The minute that someone loses interest, it all goes downhill and they steal from the rest of the group. They take the focus away. Working with people that I know so well is kind of difficult because we have other things that we want to talk about. But having such specific tasks and knowing exactly what we need to accomplish makes it a lot easier and keeps everybody focused.