What are the conditions for collaborative learning?
We already know that the global community and economy place a high premium on collaboration.
We also know that collaboration doesn't magically happen. Only under the right conditions will true teamwork emerge. This requires a committed "coaching staff" (i.e., teachers) and lots of practice.
And it requires a conviction that every member of the team sees each of his peers as important, which is why I love this quote from Mike Krzyzewski (whom I grudgingly admire).
Coach K is a hard-nosed competitor, so these words don't reflect a touch-feely perspective on teamwork. His wisdom is rooted in having recruited diverse talents, which he and his coaching staff have harmonized through a shared mission.
Learning in school should be no different.
The highest performing and most equitable communities are pluralistic--that is, so diverse and so inclusive that no one group feels like "the majority," because our shared purpose is bigger than any one of our tribes.
How might we foster the pluralism necessary for collaborative learning? How might we create the conditions for each teammate to be as important as everyone else?
Bonus wisdom from Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, who would have been 94 this past Saturday:
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