Learning, Education and Technology (LET) program is built on three major themes and they are (i) collaborative learning (ii) self regulated learning, and (iii) learning of expertise. During this first one month of the program, we had several sessions to make ourselves familiar with collaborative learning. Hany Hachem helped us a lot introducing the concept. Instead of explaining them in lectures, he designed the sessions into many different types of collaboration which we do them ourselves, and reflect them each time the session ended.
To many of us, it is a very new way of learning. We immediately shifted the mindset from the teacher-centered setting of a classroom we used to know, into a more progressive student-centered setting where I myself can see very clear that the teacher is shifting himself from the common presumption of being the expert transmitter of knowledge to the students, and more as expert designer of intellectual experience for students as coach of a more emergent learning process [1. Smith, B. L., & MacGregor, J. T. (1992). What is collaborative learning.]
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This type of learning brings back all the memory we had at Khalifah Model School (Secondary). Early 2015, we shifted the entire school from essentialist’s teacher-centered, into this progressive student-centered philosophy and practice. We changed it because we believe the way we understand education and learning has changed. And most importantly, it’s aligned with the Khalifah Method. We want the students to make themselves good by choice, and take charge of their own learning. That is definitely not something to preach. The learning activities have to be designed to make the collaboration works.
I believe collaborative work in learning will shape students’ understanding on their faith even better, with more engaging characteristic, away from totalism and indoctrination.
One of the reasons why collaborative learning in KMSS does not reach its potential (yet) is because students are still lack of many learning skills. Most of them have spent at least 6 years in the public school as passive learners even though many forms of educational transformation proposed and accepted by the authority. KBSM stated its preference over student-centered learning since mid 1990’s. But it didn’t happen. The culture of learning continues as before while collaborative learning requires a lot more than just instructing teachers to change the way they teach.
I look forward to learn more about this collaborative learning. Next week, Inshaallah we will have another session with Essi Vuopala on the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning.
LET, Oulun Yliopisto