Best Practice

Collaborative learning: A catalyst for student engagement

It is time to reframe collaborative learning not merely as a pedagogical tool but as a catalyst for the engagement of all students – especially the most vulnerable. Aimee Williams offers some ideas and reflections
Image: Adobe Stock

If we reflect on the immense transformations in the past 200 years – from revolutionary advancements in transport and medicine to the elevation of quality of living – one area demands particular scrutiny: education.

How far have we truly moved away from the traditional Victorian classroom, characterised by orderly rows of students, sitting in silence, fixated on a teacher at the front?

Many feel that this teacher “chalk and talk” is an antiquated set-up but which has come back to the fore due perhaps to pandemic-induced safety measures or maybe the need to accommodate larger class sizes.

Either way, it is imperative to consider the impact on students. Do these classrooms – coming as they invariably do with their hands-up culture – inadvertently make it easier for learners, particularly the most vulnerable, to hide in plain sight?

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