Highly competent teachers who collaborate in planning and problem solving

this is a sample of what my teacher gave us taken from ch 8 of the flat world and education

Highly Competent Teachers Who Collaborate in Planning and Problem Solving

Restructured schools can produce higher levels of achievement for the vast majority of children and young adults. Various components must exist for schools that have been structured for success (Darling-Hammond, 2010). a?Meaningful learning occurs when the learner interprets, relates, and incorporates new information with existing knowledge and applies the new information to solve novel problemsa? (Lujan & DiCarlo, 2006, p. 4).
According to Darling-Hammond (2010), collaborative learning, planning and problem solving are methods used to meet the goal of creating meaningful learning. With the method students with greater ability are paired with less able students, so all students grow. Research proves collaborative learning is beneficial. The student and teacher have definite roles in this process.
Benefits of Collaboration
Collaboration in planning and problem solving allows teachers and students to experience significant learning. There must be discussion among their peers where they can make connections, write and share, and apply what they have learned to real-world experiences. Collaboration is the answer to providing these experiences. Lujan and DiCarlo (2006) point out the information and material students are learning right now will not be remembered or possibly even valid when they graduate, therefore, students must be able to work with others, collect data, assess the data, and gain knowledge of the content. Studies show students retain information and grasp concepts when they are actively taught. Collaboration is active learning. Another benefit of collaborative learning is the constructive outcomes achieved in the area of a?race relations, self-esteem, and a willingness to cooperate in other settingsa? (Lujan & DiCarlo, 2006, p. 7).

Applying this Concept in My Work
The teacher has an awesome responsibility as the facilitator of collaborative learning. First, they have to support the students by arranging the groups in ways that will be beneficial to the students based on the instructoras knowledge of the studentsa needs, assets, and weaknesses (Taylor, Abasi, Pinsent-Johnson, & Evans, 2007). They must start the discussion or activity and guide the students so they have an equitable opportunity to participate and reflect because students need direction and feedback in order to achieve the goals set for them (Nevgi, Virtanen, & Niemi, 2006). The teacher also has to progress through several stages of planning and problem solving for collaborative learning, to be effective; it is not enough to implement the activity. After instructors have guided their students, they must then coach the higher students in how to help the less capable in the group. The instructor must also move from the contribution of information to assisting the learners (Taylor et al., 2007).
Additional Learning and/or Research
Collaborative learning addresses learning modalities of students. I believe additional research will facilitate auditory learners while hands-on activities will allow kinesthetic and tactile learners opportunities to learn. The goal of educators is to promote meaningful learning. In order to assist in achieving this goal, teachers should help students a?become active, independent learners, and problem solversa? (Lujan & DiCarlo, 2006, p. 3). Collaborative learning in planning and problem solving offers an avenue to achieve this goal using many strategies both in and out of the classroom. a?Many researchers have identified the collaboration associated with a professional community of teachers as a key element of successful schools,a? (Darling-Hammond, 2010, p. 261).