Similarly, students can memorize the steps of syllogistic reasoning, but do not necessarily become more logical in their decision making — the memorization and practice of formal abstract logic problems is quite dissimilar to the use of logic in the context of complex everyday decision making.
Examples of the inability of students to apply academic learnings can be multiplied: The memorization of the steps of conflict resolution does not lead to better conflict-resolution skills. Learning about the importance of certain communication skills does not lead to the acquisition of communication skills unless the skills are practiced in realistic interaction situations. The Kagan structures represent a natural context in which to practice interactive communication skills, character virtues, thinking skills, conflict-resolution skills, decision-making skills, leadership skills, and a host of other social skills.
Because the Kagan structures are real-life interaction situations similar to those in which the skills will be applied, they sidestep the transference gap so the students do not just learn about the skills, they acquire the skills and can use them for a lifetime.
It is not enough to say that the structures align well with how students best learn. We must ask if the structures are likely to produce the outcomes we most desire. Will they prepare our students well for 21st century life? Although we cannot predict the future with certainty, we can be fairly sure that students who acquire thinking skills, social skills, and character virtues will be better prepared to work and live well in the rapidly changing, interdependent world of the future.
In the rapidly changing workplaces of the future, the content that students work with, the information and skills they work with, will change many times over. We cannot give students today all the information and skills they will need tomorrow. The constant is not the content. What we can give them which will be of use for a lifetime are thinking and relationship skills.
We don't know what information they will work with, but we do know they will need to analyze, synthesize, categorize, chunk, and in myriad other ways manipulate, transform, and work with an ever increasing amount of information. We do not know which work teams they will be part of in their various jobs, but we do know that whatever their position in the workplace they are very likely to be working with others and working in teams. In the complex, interdependent workplace of the future, teamwork and relationship skills will be at a premium.
Thinking Skills In a number of ways, the use of structures stretches thinking skills. Each of us carries with us a set of data on any topic and a way of organizing that data. When we interact with others we are stimulated toward higher-level thinking because others provide new information as well as new ways to organize that information.
Out of the interaction of different points of view, different conceptual frameworks, and different information bases, comes a higher-level synthesis.
Cooperative learning promotes higher-level thinking also because it promotes questioning, student input into what is studied and and how it will be studied, student projects, and student construction of meaning. Specific structures promote specific types of thinking. For example, Logic Line-Ups promote deductive reasoning, Find My Rule promotes inductive reasoning, 4S Brainstorming promotes generative thought; Paraphrase Passports promotes role-taking skills; Agree-Disagree Line-Ups promote evaluative thinking; Pairs Compare promotes compare-contrast thinking, and Team Statements promote synthesis level thought.
These are but a sample of the many structures designed to foster specific and different types of thinking skills. The structures promote thinking skills in yet another way: Because there are structures for each of the intelligences, when a range of structures are used, students engage the range of intelligences and thus develop the habit of approaching any content from multiple perspectives, literally using different parts of the brain.
Social Skills and Relations As we enter deeper into the 21st century, it becomes increasingly clear that if our students are to be successful in the workplace of the future we must educate for social skills and ability to work with diversity. Three factors converge to create greater interdependence in the workplace: complexity, shifting demographics, and the global community. No one person can build a modern computer; it takes teams working on components, coordinating efforts with other teams. Thus teamwork skills and communication skills become survival skills for the workplace of the future.
Further, because of our increased ability to communicate and trade at a distance and our changing demographics, increasingly we must learn to work well with others different from ourselves — diversity skills are at a premium. One of the most powerful proven results of cooperative learning methods is that they result in improved social skills and social relations among students. Salvin, et. Use of multiple intelligences structures represents another form of preparation for the workplace of the future because it prepares students with diversity skills, the ability to work with others who have other ways of learning and communicating.
Because diversity will be the hallmark of the workplace of the future, we will do well to place a premium on teaching methods which foster diversity skills. Caring Community One of the most obvious differences between classrooms in which students regularly engage in cooperative learning and those in which they do not is the sense of community among students.
Because cooperative learning involves helping, praising, encouraging, celebrating, and listening, students become more caring and supportive toward each other. A caring community emerges. At a time when the words "Columbine" and "Santee" have become symbols for alienation and polarization among students, cooperative structures that produce a caring community among students literally save lives. Status Equalization In the traditional classroom, some students receive most of the teacher and peer positive attention and deference, while other students receive almost none.
With many of the Kagan Structures, each student in turn is a team leader so status is greatly equalized. Status equalization improves race relations and social relations among students. Status issues occur at another level: there are high and low status groups. In traditional classrooms, there are in-groups and out-groups. Students self-segregate themselves into groups variously called the geeks or nerds, surfers or skaters, rockers, jocks, and socialites.
Students ostracize the out-groups, leading to alienation, drop-out, drug abuse, and too often leading to disastrous consequences when vengeance is vented. Teambuilding, classbuilding, and rotating leadership roles break down these segregations so over time students no longer see themselves as "Us" vs. Educating for Character Although educators in our recent past unlike earlier educators have been resistant to teaching values, there is a growing realization that education can never be values neutral and that educating for character virtures is essential in a democratic society.
When a student lies about why his homework is not completed, how the teacher responds will either foster the virtue of honesty or foster in the student the desire to become better at lying. By who we are, how we interact with students, and how we have students interact with each other we either foster positive character or undermine character development. Thomas Lickona in his classic book, Educating for Character.
How our schools can teach respect and responsibility , makes the indisputable case for the need to educate for character.
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In a previous issue of this Online Magazine I summarized how Kagan Structures educate for character on an ongoing basis Kagan, Winter Students acquire virtues as they use the structures. For example, as students engage in Circle the Sage or Jigsaw, they practice leadership skills.
The virtues amount to an embedded curriculum, acquired by the way we teach, not via separate lessons.
Lessons on virtues are soon forgotten, but virtues acquired in the process of daily interaction become part of who we are. Emotional Intelligence Most educators working the field of emotional intelligence have settle on the five dimensions definition of Emotional Intelligence offered by Daniel Goleman : Enhancing emotional intelligence consists of developing self-knowledge, self-control, self-motivation, empathy, and relationship skills. Daniel Goleman has demonstrated that EQ emotional intelligence can be more important than traditional IQ in determining success on the job, in school, in interpersonal relations.
The infamous case of Jason H. Goleman asks the question: How can someone so smart be so dumb? The answer in part is that there are smarts not measured by academic tests or traditional IQ tests. Being smart includes emotional intelligence.
One of the most powerful aspects of structures is that they develop emotional intelligence. As students do a Timed Pair Share they develop their self-knowledge; as they use Talking Chips they work on impulse control; as students play Showdown or any of the structures high in individual accountability they develop self-motivation; as they play Paraphrase Passport they develop empathy; as they engage in the range of structures they hone their relationship skills.
The wonderful thing about the structural approach to EQ is that the skills of EQ are developed without separate lessons on EQ. Through the structures EQ is developed while students are engaged in traditional academic curriculum. Empirical Support Clearly there is a wealth of theory supporting the use of structures. Does the empirical research support the expectations springing from theory? In evaluating the empirical support for the Kagan structures, we will limit our review to studies of cooperative learning and multiple intelligences because most of the Kagan Structures involve cooperative learning and those that do not are designed to engage one or more of the multiple intelligences.
Because all of the Kagan structures implement the theories of cooperative learning and multiple intelligences, research supporting the positive outcomes of cooperative learning and multiple intelligences supports the use of Kagan Structures. It turns out there is a wealth of research indicating that a wide range of gains result from cooperative learning and from engaging the range of intelligences. Cooperative Learning Cooperative learning is one of the most extensively researched educational innovations of all time.
There are approximately one thousand research studies which document its effectiveness on quite a range of outcome variables. More detailed descriptions of studies and more extensive lists of references are found in the most comprehensive research volume, Learning to Cooperate, Cooperating to Learn Slavin, et. Those who would like a brief referenced overview of the most important outcomes of cooperative learning will find it in Chapter 3 of my book, Cooperative Learning It is impossible to single out just one explanation for why cooperative learning works so well on so many dimensions.
Cooperative learning is a teacher's dream but a researcher's nightmare. When students interact in a positive way on a consistent basis, many variables are effected. They note that cooperative learning has an effect size of. This effect size places cooperative learning among the strongest of all methods for increasing academic achievement. The empirical work summarized by Marzano and his coauthors, however, indicates that merely placing students in groups and having them interact will not necessarily produce gains.
They offer a warning: cooperative learning "is misused when the tasks are not well structured. Marzano and his coauthors state, "To maximize students' experience, it is probably a good idea to use a variety of criteria, as well as adhere to the tenets of cooperative learning, to make the experience successful. Kagan suggests a variety of group structures. The Kagan structures are designed to do exactly what Marzano and his coauthors call for — to adhere to the priniciples of cooperative learning through the use of well-structured tasks.
- Table of contents.
- Window In Time.
- AN ARMY DOCTORS STORY: Life and service in the British Empire and through two World Wars;
Multiple Intelligences Whereas the empirical research on cooperative learning has been predominantly in the form of controlled research studies, to date, the most important empirical research on multiple intelligences has taken the form of case studies. In their recent publication, Multiple Intelligences and Student Achievement: Success Stories from Six Schools , Linda Campbell and Bruce Campbell summarize the results of using different approaches to implementing the theory of multiple intelligences.
They examine six schools, two elementary, two middle, and two high schools. Some of the schools had base achievement rate data allowing before-after implementation comparisons. Other schools used MI since their inception, so comparisons are made with non-MI schools, or with district, county, state, or national norms. A brief summary of the achievement results is as follows:. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the case studies described by Campbell and Campbell is that the primary reason schools in the study adopted MI was their desire to educate the whole student; the dramatic achievement gains which resulted were a by-product of the shift in philosophy.
Teaching to the text is self-defeating; it does not produce meaningful gains and alienates students. Gains, as the MI school demonstrates, are obtained not by teaching to the test, but by broadening the curriculum and making it more meaningful. The experience of MI schools points out the narrowness of defining achievement only in terms of academic achievement tests. The schools adopting MI produced a host of achievements which are not measured by narrow academic achievement tests, including,.
At a time when a narrow focus on standardized test scores threatens to dim the vision of educators, MI schools provide a beacon. The help us ask not if an educational innovation raises test scores, but rather if it helps us become who we most want to be.
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The positive outcomes in MI schools are a result of far more than the adoption of MI learning strategies in classrooms; they result from a fundamental shift in perception of the role of teachers and schools. As schools and educators ask the broader question of how programs align with the vision of fully educating the nation's youth, they find the multiple intelligences structures one very useful set of tools in the process of helping teachers and students become all they can be.
Enduring change occurs when it is institutionalized — when it becomes the way we are.