Do students learn the value of collaboration in traditional classrooms? Do they leave the class taking with them more than just a mark? Have they learned the value of one another? Have they learned how to effectively collaborate?

Sadly, the answer is probably not.  What is it that makes the difference in a learning environment that enables the value of collaboration?

Students seem to thrive on vigorous discussions that let them share experiences with other students. And this is a major part of collaborating. For the process to really take root, focused exchange of experiences, both intellectual and social must exist. This kind of exchange ultimately arrives at consensus – an essential part of learning collaborative process. The art of collaborating is essential in the classroom and the workplace of today and tomorrow.

When students propose ideas, stand by a decision, speak out on an issue or suggest a solution, they are developing internal principles. Dialogue and interaction among their peers help them to develop academically as well as socially. They learn the art of constructive reasoning, something they will use throughout life.

How the Yorktown Education collaborative process works:

  • Helps students understand the benefits of collaboration and what successful collaboration looks like
  • Guides students through the steps of team building
  • Allows students time and opportunities within the activity to develop leadership, decision-making, trust-building, communication, and conflict-management skills
  • Establishes expectations and norms for working together
  • Teaches understanding of how to resolve team conflicts
  • Teaches students active listening skills

Students participating in activities at Yorktown Education, learn they don’t just occupy the same physical space as their classmates, they also share an intellectual space—learning more, doing more, and experiencing more together than they would alone.

Collaboration is essential.  In a study from the University of Illinois where students were tracked ten years after graduation the mastery of collaboration skills correlated more closely to annual income than standardized test scores.

“Social skills such as conscientiousness, cooperativeness, and motivation were as important as test scores for success in the workplace”    (Science Daily 2008).