Collaborative Classrooms at Living Faith

Learning Landscape Friday, 31 July 2020

Collaborative learning is an important element of what we do here at Living Faith. It is promoted from Prep through to Year 6 through all areas of learning.

What is collaborative learning?

Collaborative learning is an educational approach where groups of students work together to solve problems, complete tasks or learn new concepts. Students must process and apply information and collaborate, communicate and practise essential soft skills. Through defending their understanding, reframing ideas, listening to other viewpoints and articulating their own thoughts, students will gain a more complete understanding as a group than they could as individuals.

What are the benefits of collaborative learning

  • Encourages the development of our contemporary competencies
  • Foster deeper learning by offering different perspectives, viewpoints and ways of thinking.
  • Teaches children how to listen to feedforward or advice
  • Develops public speaking and listening skills
  • Encourages dynamic problem solving
  • Confidence building
  • Promotes inclusivity and positive relationships
  • Encourages a growth mindset
  • Teaches students how to compromise and manage conflict
  • Students can learn from their peers
  • Foster a positive learning environment
  • Students enjoy working with peers

How do we use collaborative learning at Living Faith?

In upper primary, our classrooms are designed with collaboration in mind. The open design facilitates collaborative learning and also collaborative teaching in spaces where students are able to build a wider community of team members. By mixing and integrating between classes we enrich opportunities to learn and grow through collaboration. In the lower primary, we also encourage collaborative tasks and play-based opportunities to enrich learning. Teachers seek opportunities for different grades to work together and share their learning, eg with buddies or in service learning. Staff at Living Faith also model and demonstrate collaboration through team teaching which allows students to see these skills in practice.

Collaborative learning is one of the most important elements to our mindset maths program which incorporates collaborative grapple tasks. Students work together to solve challenging problems and present the group’s findings and questions to the class. Collaborative learning is also used widely in PBL (project-based learning) where students must work together to complete gateways. Students discuss solutions, try, fail and try again as a team in order to succeed. Whilst the social dynamics of these situations can be challenging at first, students quickly develop skills to become better collaborators. Collaborative tasks often facilitate a myriad of different skills from personal development eg self-esteem, social skills and negotiation skills to deepening their understanding of the content by listening to the thoughts and ideas of their peers.

- Bianca Ravi, Director of Learning