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New European resources on enhancing collaborative teaching and learning in schools
Being able to collaborate effectively is a valuable 21st-century skill, yet teaching about or through collaboration remains rare in schools due to various reasons.
The CO-LAB project set out to explore what collaborative teaching and learning means in practice in six European countries (Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Estonia, Ireland, Poland and Portugal), and has just concluded by publishing recommendations to help countries mainstream this 21st century pedagogical approach. These recommendations adopt a systemic approach, outlining actions required at the policy, teacher training, school and classroom levels.
These recommendations are based on a thorough evaluation report, by the Polish Educational Research Institute (IBE), and a series of country workshops that allowed stakeholders at all levels (teacher trainers, student teachers, teachers, head teachers, and policy makers) to discuss together the conditions required for collaborative teaching and learning to flourish and be mainstreamed. You can find out more about the specificities of each national case in the CO-LAB series of country reports and accompanying videos.
Thanks to CO-LAB, teacher participants realized that to effectively promote collaborative learning to their students, they needed to practice what they preached by collaborating with colleagues. After taking the CO-LAB Massive Open Online Course (now freely available as an Open Educational Resource), 40% of teachers reported they collaborated with teachers more often.
Assessing collaborative work was also a challenge for many participants, but progress was made in this difficult area during the project. CO-LAB has produced useful guidelines for assessing collaborative learning in the classroom and a practical code of conduct for effective collaboration in European Projects.
If you are interested in re-using the materials and develop training you can use the CO-LAB Open Educational Resources and if you are looking for inspiration to introduce collaborative teaching and learning in your classroom check out the learning scenarios.