Struggles

I started my Masters in January 2015. There’s been some hiccups here and there along the way. I’m nearly finished—I did my final portfolio presentation and was given a preliminary conferment of my M.Ed. by my faculty; however, this is not the same as a formal degree conferred by the college or the registrar. That won’t happen until I finish incomplete assignments for three classes. And that’s where I’m struggling. I tried to sit down …

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Long-range Plan for Cooperative Learning

This long-range plan entails a different approach to cooperative learning implementation because I am not a teacher. Cooperative Learning was taken as an elective for my Master of Education in Youth Development Leadership. When people discover I am pursuing an M.Ed., I am often asked what I’m going to teach. I’m not. It just so happens my M.Ed. program is in the School of Social Work. However, I’m not going after a social …

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Observing and Assessment

A teacher has a lot to do for class: make a lesson plan, instruct to that plan, manage 30 billion student relationships, ensure those students are building solid relationships, and that students are learning the material. This class session, we observed, assessed, and processed the group dynamic of class. It seems pretty straight forward, and I don’t have a lot of questions about the steps involved. It seems observing comes with practice, perhaps …

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A Case Study: Equity and Diversity in Cooperative Learning

Off the record, I see solutions at work for many arguments of inequity and homogeneous nature of various organizations. I refer to the collection of portraits in the Presidents Room, as if being a while male is a required demography for President of the University of Minnesota. What is the opposite of the white man? What will it take to balance the room or presidents? A single, atheist, gay woman of dark skin color. I …

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Paragraphs of Social Skills

Social skills must be ingrained in the lesson plans. There are four steps to social skill mastery: awkward, phony, mechanical, integrated. This reminded me of a chart I saw back in early 2000s: unconsciously incompetent, consciously incompetent, unconsciously competent, and consciously competent. In other words, (1) you don’t know what you don’t know, (2) you know what you don’t know, (3) you don’t know what you know, and (4) you know what you …

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Paragraphs of Interdependence

Holding yourself accountable for the work required to learn material is a personal challenge I’m facing with this class. We are faced with a varying array of teaching methods and techniques, both in an effort to teach us material, but also to demonstrate these techniques in raw form. We are folding education inside out by studying positive interdependence and individual accountability. Positive interdependence is an umbrella of nine types of independence structures. Of …

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A Paragraph of Cooperation

Cooperative Learning is a collection of theories and practices that encourage learning from positive interdependence and promotes individual accountability. Learning groups may be formed by formal and informal means, for long and short term assignments, respectively. Retention and achievement both improved as cooperative learning was integrated into the learning environment. Cooperative learning improved social skills of both students and teachers. I find it striking that cooperative learning is directly related to improvements in …

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