In Cooperative Learning students work with their peers to accomplish a shared or common goal. The goal is reached through interdependence (one of the five essential elements of Cooperative Learning) among all group members. Research has shown that cooperative learning produces greater student achievement. Cooperative Learning has social and economic benefits. Students work with classmates who have different learning skills, cultural background, attitudes, and personalities. More and more businesses and industries work in teams or are moving towards this concept. In a learning environment, cooperative learning has the potential to move beyond the classroom to challenge and influence how schools/centres operate as ‘communities of learners’.
County Sligo VEC recognises the need for exploring diverse methodologies and pedagogy which have a proven track record across the globe and which will ensure the highest quality and most effective teaching and learning. With this in mind County Sligo VEC will work towards creating a co-operative learning culture, which will underpin the delivery of its programmes.
In the Education Plan for 2011-1016 County Sligo VEC intends to:
- Promote a culture of Cooperative Learning.
- Ensure all tutors and teachers are up skilled in team work and interpersonal skills necessary for cooperation.
- Ensure the delivery of education is so structured so as to encourage learners to need each other and recognise the benefits of working together through cooperative practices.
- Provide resources, accreditation and in-service to inculcate a Cooperative Learning culture.
- Support the Cooperative Learning Network in developing and growing the potential of the network.