Andrew Howard and I are inviting colleagues to comment and advise on the first draft manuscript of our book “The Beginners Guide to Cooperative Learning.”
“Beginners Guide to Cooperative Learning” is not for academics but a manual for real teachers facing hands-on challenges. As is clear in last week’s article, Expecting the Inspection, teachers using Cooperative Learning day-to-day in individual schools are the true authorities on the subject.
“Beginners Guide…” therefore needs you, the daily practitioners, with all the grime and grit of real life in the classroom. We would very much like to hear from teachers and headteachers we have worked with: What advice would you like to pass to your colleagues? Which points are vital to get across? How did you embed it? What were the pitfalls? Which have been the main challenges? And, importantly, how did you overcome them?
We would also welcome any reflections from those teaching professionals who are considering Cooperative Learning or who have chosen to leave it: What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when someone says Cooperative Learning? What do you expect it will do for you? What is drawing you to it or holding you back? What made you decide against it?
“At the end of this book, readers will be able to deploy some Cooperative Learning activities effectively to create well-rounded, empowered human beings with smashing test results.”
– Jakob and Drew’s elevator pitch, 2017.
In a sense, our challenge is that we are essentially writing a cookbook where the would-be chef is actually an ingredient in the food. (Do not overthink that metaphor, please!)
The Guide at a glance
This book is meant to be an accessible and immediately useful tool for any teacher to get up and running in a couple of days. For that reason, we have picked the Cooperative Learning Interaction Pattern Catch1Partner because of its versatility, “entertainment value” and the fact that it requires no specific classroom setup.
We also aim for short and sweet: not more than a hundred pages give or take. The chapter “What’s in this book?” should further help busy readers to quickly focus on that which interests them. Please find the full chapter here. It should give you an inkling of the possibilities:
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