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The Beginner's Guide to Cooperative Learning


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About the Author

Jakob Werdelin is a Danish teacher trainer and consultant specialising in cooperative learning, an approach which structures learning environments to improve academic outcomes and inculcate readiness for work and life in the 21st century. He designs tailored interventions and training programmes for schools, colleges and universities, charitable bodies, teaching schools, multi-academy trusts and international training providers. Jakob is the founder and director of UK-based Werdelin Education. Drew Howard is a Londoner who has a wide range of experience in a variety of school and college settings both in the UK and abroad. He was previously an acting head teacher and deputy and is currently Director of Primary Curriculum and Pedagogy at a multi-academy trust in Norfolk.


Forget everything you think you know about Cooperative Learning and the silly prog/trad binaries which cloud the issue. This brilliant, powerful book seeks to redefine what Cooperative Learning is and *spoiler alert* it is not disorganised group work. This brilliant book is a step by step manual, which any teacher from any phase can pick up and be equipped with all the tools to get impactful Cooperative Learning up and running in their classroom. Written in an engaging, humorous, yet authoritative and knowledgeable way, it defines the key concepts and explains the CLIP action steps which can be used top transform learning in our schools. After the theoretical and practical grounding of the first two chapters, each chapter thereafter is like a stand alone unit, which can be dipped into as and when required. What's more, the chapters cover a wide range of subjects, from how Cooperative Learning links to Rosenshine, getting your TA involved and the real life case study of how a MAT embedded the approach. With a range of different subject examples and useful summary boxes at the end of each chapter for busy staff, this book will change education for the better. The Beginner's Guide to Cooperative Learning sets out a compelling case for how it can benefit not just all students, but all staff and parents too. A must buy.Haili Hughes
In this thoughtful and useful book, Jakob and Drew clearly offer the busy classroom teacher the 'how' of Cooperative Learning as well as, importantly, the 'why'. I'm all for any strategy and pedagogy that encourages children and young people to find their learning voices. This book enables the thoughtful teacher to do that with their classes. This will be a useful addition to any novice or experiences teacher's CPD bookshelf.Hywel Roberts
Tackling the often misunderstood and poorly applied principles of cooperative learning, this detailed and evidence-informed book sits astride traditionalist and progressive dichotomies, and provides proven step-by-step structures and strategies that have the potential to enhance, and even transform your practice. An essential guide for anyone interested in fostering interdependence, accountability, participation and interaction within the classroom.Jonathan Lear
Jakob Werdelin and Drew Howard have produced an excellent guide to cooperative learning that provides teachers with a coherent philosophy and a detailed structure for bringing it to life in the classroom. Far beyond many teachers' view of 'group work', the CLIPs concept is clearly defined with lots of examples. Most importantly, the authors have pitched high, insisting that all their suggested activities deliver the rigour required for PIES - the four requirements of positive interdependence, individual accountability, equal participation and simultaneous interaction that ensure all children are participating, thinking and learning. This is great to see. The authors' audacious claim that this is the solution to everything might be hard to accept but nonetheless it's an interesting challenge to explore and, as well as being practical as a handy guide, this book makes an engaging and compelling case for more cooperative learning in schools.Tom Sherrington
For those wishing to gain a real insight, into one of the reasons that so many of the Northern European Countries have such impressive education systems; this book should be essential reading.What I gathered very quickly is that Cooperative Learning is an incredibly simple (aren't the best ideas always thus) yet incredibly powerful tool whereby pupils are carefully trained to create curriculum, peer tutor/teach/assess and create resources. Eg they do the hard work whilst learning content quicker, and at the same time gather essential social skills.And....it is very low cost.WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE.Stephen Chapman
This is the book for anyone who, like me, has been wondering just how to connect subject content with the art of being human. If you want great results and resilient capable young people who can hold their own in a conversation, take responsibility and engage intelligently with other people, this is the book for you. One of the most fascinating things, I find, is the necessary intimate connection between direct instruction from a capable teacher and the social construction that processes and integrates what has been taught through oracy and higher level thinking. This book does not fit into the traditional or progressive category in any way shape or form; like all good teaching it transcends simple lines in the sand. So, don't let the title scare you if you are a traditionalist. As a fan off Rosenshine you will not only enjoy the dedicated chapter on him, viewed through the lens of Tom Sherrington's neat streamlining, but you will recognise his recommendations in the most unlikely places on every page of highly child-centred learning.Catherine Brentnall

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