“Certain skills need to be learned before implementing cooperative learning; these include the pro-social skills of listening, taking turns, asking questions, offering suggestions, speaking positively about others and helping others. Assessment of these skills combined with levels of academic learning linked with continuous improvement has been found to be the most effective use of cooperation in learning, especially at the school education level,” says the Jaipur-based educator Lalit Kishore who has implemented group learning in rural bridge schools.
With modern technology invading the schools, we must ward off social isolation among students by promoting cooperation as a value for classroom organization to develop pro-social skills among them. The CL strategies allow the use of the other students as learning resources and are helpful to develop more positive, accepting and supportive relationships with peers as a community of learners.
Since there is insufficient knowledge in CL among teachers these days, the school-based training approach with a support system involving a mentor seems more appropriate for curriculum adaptation and implementation as pilot first.