Blogger's note: This post focuses on the importance of integrating collaboration into classroom practice. In my next post, I'll talk about strategies for successful facilitation of collaborative work.
A Learned Skill
Sharing my rough writing with others is a miserable experience. I know that outside input is a crucial part of revision, yet I squirm uncomfortably as those I trust make comments and probe with questions. Inevitably, I begin to feel resentment grow as I am forced to reevaluate passages that I thought were clear.
If collaboration feels this challenging for me with those whom I trust and respect, it must feel even harder for my students because:
- I often make a point of dividing them into heterogeneous groups that include students with different skill levels.
- The projects I assign require agreement and coordination between all the members of a group.
- I expect the final products to be polished and ready for a wider audience.