This topic provided the basis for an extended discussion on a variety of internet education discussion groups. The initial hypothesis was provided by Ted covering a number of topics dealing with why more teachers do not use CL in their classes. Responses were received from all over the world and compiled in a single posting. The initial statements and responses for 6 discussions are presented below for your enjoyment and perhaps amusement.
Topic 1-Introduction- Considering the overwhelming number of benefits created by the use of collaborative learning methods, it is surprising that so few teachers use this paradigm. The cause lies in the current educational system which emphasizes content memorization and individual student performance through competition. Few teachers or students have had any exposure to the CL teaching/learning technique. Teachers are not trained during their certification processes in collaborative methods and those that are often receive incomplete training. If teachers are taught by the lecture method while at teachers' college, then it is hardly surprising that this will be the method of choice when their turn arrives to take over the classroom. And the fact that most students have been exposed only to the competitive, individualistic approach used in our school systems today at all levels constitutes a major problem. Students are not likely to change their attitudes from one class to another unless they are trained in CL techniques.
Topic 2-The following topics formed the basis for this discussion
LOSS OF CONTROL IN THE CLASSROOM-
LACK OF SELF CONFIDENCE BY TEACHERS-
FEAR OF THE LOSS OF CONTENT COVERAGE-
LACK OF PREPARED MATERIALS FOR USE IN CLASS-
Topic 3- The following topics formed the basis for this discussion
LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH ALTERNATE ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES-
CONCERN WITH TEACHER EVALUATION AND PERSONAL ADVANCEMENT-
STUDENTS' RESISTANCE TO COLLABORATIVE LEARNING TECHNIQUES
LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH CL TECHNIQUES AND CLASS MANAGEMENT-
Topic 4- The following topics formed the basis for this discussion
LACK OF TEACHER TRAINING IN COLLABORATIVE TEACHING METHODS-
LACK OF TRAINING OR EXPOSURE TO COLLABORATIVE LEARNING-
LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH ALTERNATE STUDENT ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES-
LACK OF TEACHER TRAINING IN COLLABORATIVE TEACHING METHODS
Topic 5-The following topics formed the basis for this discussion
STUDENTS' LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH COLLABORATIVE TECHNIQUES
FEAR OF LOSS OF CONTENT AND ABILITY TO ACHIEVE HIGH GRADES
LACK OF PARENT UNDERSTANDING OF COLLABORATIVE LEARNING
Topic 6- Eighteen policies, necessary for the implementation of cooperative learning paradigms within institutions, are presented.