A Definition of Collaborative vs Cooperative Learning Essay

1519 Words Apr 12th, 2011 7 Pages
A Definition of Collaborative vs Cooperative Learning

Ted Panitz (1996)
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I have been searching for many years for the Holy Grail of interactive learning, a distinction between collaborative and cooperative learning definitions. I am getting closer to my elusive goal all the time but I am still not completely satisfied with my perception of the two concepts. I believe my confusion arises when I look at processes associated with each concept and see some overlap or inter-concept usage. I will make a humble attempt to clarify this question by presenting my definitions and reviewing those of other authors who have helped clarify my thinking.
Collaboration is a philosophy of interaction and personal lifestyle whereas cooperation is a
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Myers points out some differences between the two concepts:
"Supporters of co-operative learning tend to be more teacher-centered, for example when forming heterogeneous groups, structuring positive inter- dependence, and teaching co-operative skills. Collaborative learning advocates distrust structure and allow students more say if forming friendhip and interest groups. Student talk is stressed as a means for working things out. Discovery and contextural approaches are used to teach interpersonal skills."
"Such differences can lead to disagreements.... I contend the dispute is not about research, but more about the morality of what should happen in the schools. Beliefs as to whast should happen in the schools can be viewed as a continuum of orientations toward curriculum from "transmission" to "transaction" to "transmission". At one end is the transmission position. As the name suggests, the aim of this orientation is to transmit knowledge to students in the form of facts, skills and values. The transformation position at the other end of the continuum stresses personal and social change in which the person is said to be interrelated with the environment rather than having control over it. The aim of this orientation is self-actualization, personal or organizational change."
Rocky Rockwood (National Teaching and Learning Forum vol 4 #6, 1995 part 1) describes the differences by acknowledging the parallels they both have in that they both use…

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