Daily Archives: November 4, 2014

The Power of Collaboration

Social networking has shown us the power of collaboration. Through applications like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram we learn with and from one another at a speed like never before. Sir Ken Robinson reminds us of the need to foster collaboration:

Most original thinking comes through collaboration and through the stimulation of other people’s ideas. Nobody lives in a vacuum. Even people who live on their own—like the solitary poets or solo inventors in their garages—draw from the cultures they’re a part of, from the influence of other people’s minds and achievements….This is one of the great skills we have to promote and teach—collaborating and benefiting from diversity rather than promoting homogeneity.

Unfortunately, with the rise of standardized testing in many countries, collaboration is not being valued. Robinson explains:

We have a big problem at the moment—education is becoming so dominated by this culture of standardized testing, by a particular view of intelligence and a narrow curriculum and education system, that we’re flattening and stifling some of the basic skills and processes that creative achievement depends on.

Although comedic in nature  the cartoon below raises some important questions around assessment. Do high-stakes tests help prepare our students for the world in which they will work.  Why don’t we value collaborative learning/assessments in schools?