In order for children to learn and grow, it is important for them to engage in collaborative activities. Collaboration allows children to develop social skills, learn how to work with others, and think outside of the box. Students can share ideas, solve problems together, and build relationships with classmates through collaboration.
A World Of Possibilities
When children connect with other people’s ideas, they are opened up to a world of possibilities for collaboration and creativity. When they can share their ideas, it gives children the opportunity to offer their own perspectives and viewpoints. This can help them to solve problems more effectively.
As a teacher, I often witness children working together towards a common goal and developing a sense of trust and camaraderie that can last a lifetime. When students collaborate effectively, they are able to accomplish more than they could on their own. By working together, students can achieve more than they ever thought possible.
For these reasons, it is easy to see why collaboration is an important part of the learning process.
A Study In Collaboration
An interesting study by Uri Treisman, a mathematician at the University of Texas at Austin, helped to show how collaboration can be effective in the learning process. Uri began his study after noticing that 60 percent of African American students who took calculus at the University of Berkley, California, failed their classes. He began to look at more university data and found that no Chinese American students were failing calculus, so he asked the question: What is the difference between these two cultural groups that could be causing this discrepancy in learning?
It was found that the difference between the two groups was how they studied. African American students tended to work alone in their dormitory rooms, where they struggled with problems on their own. In contrast, Chinese American students worked on their assigned math problems in their dormitories and in dining halls, working collaboratively with other students.
As part of the study, Uri and his team of researchers set up workshops where African American students could work on math problems together. Results showed that the improvement in academic achievement was significant. Within two years, the failure rate of African American students dropped to zero, and they even started outperforming their peers.
The outcome of this research showed how students had to be “taught” how to collaborate with each other. This speaks volumes about how we may be missing out on teaching a valuable skill in our elementary and high schools. Uri and his research team are right to point out that success in college and University requires working with others and good communication. This is a valuable skill that is not only needed in education but beyond in society.
Alone In Their Struggle
As we know, with math anxiety, children give up on mathematics because they find it difficult and think they are alone in their struggle. By encouraging children to work together on math problems, we may help them see that others may find some or all of the work difficult too. This critical lesson allows children to understand that learning is a process and that obstacles are common.
Having children work together or with a parent/guardian can give them an opportunity to connect ideas. Collaborating with others and learning about their ideas can develop a higher level of understanding. When students see another way of learning, they get opportunities to make connections between valuable ideas throughout life.
Collaboration in Dropkick Math
When a child can connect with someone else’s ideas, they can enhance their brain, perspective, and understanding. At Dropkick Math Academy, we believe collaboration is vital to learning. We encourage students to offer ideas in our live sessions and create a comfortable environment for them to work through problems with their peers.
We also believe that including the parent/guardian in our math tutoring program is essential for a child’s success. By being actively involved and setting high expectations for their child, parents can help guide them towards having high values of doing well in school.
Involving The Parent/Guardian
Math can be a difficult subject for many students, and it can be easy for parents to fall into the mindset that they “just don’t get it.” However, by learning math alongside your child, you can become a role model for them and show them that math is something that everyone can understand with a little effort. Just like when they collaborate with their peers, children can gain a lot when working alongside a parent or guardian. Connecting ideas with your child gives them a chance to look at problems differently and work through gaps in learning using alternative methods. It may also help boost their confidence in mathematics when they work alongside a parent, and they may start understanding math concepts better.
Collaborating with your child will not only help improve your child’s math skills, but it will also give you a chance to bond with them over a shared experience. Additionally, you may be surprised at how much you enjoy math once you give it a try!
Learn more about our math help services today and how we can help your child. We focus on math for grades 4 to 9 and currently work with various school boards across Ontario to offer subsidized programs. Click to learn if your child qualifies as part of Ontario’s Learning Action Recovery Plan.