What is “collaborative space” and why is it important in schools today?
Collaborative space within a school allows students to learn effectively in groups, encouraging each other to ask questions, explain and justify their opinions, articulate their reasoning, and elaborate and reflect upon their knowledge. The teacher acts as a facilitator, helping students with their research and guiding them through the learning process. Many have found this to be beneficial in helping students learn effectively and efficiently versus more traditional independent learning alone. Some positive results from collaborative learning activities have been documented in research and include:
- students are able to learn more material by engaging with one another and making sure everyone understands
- students retain more information from thoughtful discussion
- students have a more positive attitude about learning and about each other by working together
In order to create collaborative space, we would need to provide the resources for information processing, collaboration, assistance, and management of the learning activities. These include technology, flexible furniture that allows for different configurations, appropriate lighting, and finishes.