Learning together and from each other
Many parents and students opt for one to one support outside of school hours. Whilst this is beneficial in some instances, we must not forget the power of group learning. It is widely understood that working in groups can benefit individuals, but do we ever really take the time to understand the full merits? If not, we should. To learn effectively, students must have variety and stay engaged with the subject matter. Small group learning can help with this.
Group learning has both academic and personal development benefits for students; sessions help build confidence and promote a deeper understanding of the learning material. Group learning gives students the opportunity to learn from each other, to discuss their ideas, to challenge one another and to explore new material together. Importantly, it encourages students to become active rather than passive learners.
One of the main benefits of group learning is that it gives students the chance to learn from and teach one another. Alternative ideas and view points will be generated, different learning styles will be activated and co-operation is encouraged. Witnessing how peers approach learning will offer new perspectives and studying techniques that pupils can apply to their own learning. All of these attributes of group learning help embed subject knowledge and encourage students to take their learning further.
Group learning also has wider personal development benefits. For sessions to be effective, they require an environment of support, trust and co-operative learning. This relies on the development of collaboration skills, which are so vital in every day life. Sessions therefore enhance students’ communication skills and teamwork. This is particularly beneficial for students with lower confidence as group sessions, more than big classes or one to one lessons, give quieter students the opportunity and confidence to speak and to be heard and to participate in different ways.
Not only does group learning develop students academically and personally, it also provides a structured learning experience that can prepare them for the realities and diversity of the workplace in later life. Group working more accurately reflects the real working environment, where the ability to work effectively with others who have different skills and approaches is pivotal to career success. Exposing students to these skills early will position them well for a wide range of learning and working environments.