Children as Researchers

Framing Learning as a Social Endeavour

Student-led collaboration can bring out the individual gifts of students as they develop within a community. Julie Rains shows how group learning and reflection can make students feel successful as active participants in their own learning.

Cultivating Participation

It is the first day of media class at Delta Kelly Elementary School and 30 Year 4 students huddle around an over-sized rectangular table that is stacked with jumbo playing cards, brightly-coloured feathers, scalloped paper and an assortment of building materials. Almost everyone is talking. Some are laughing. Upon closer inspection, small groups seem to emerge. While two students look closely at a wooden block, still others dangle faux greenery and nod in agreement. “Give me a piece” one student calls, a directive met with a piece of clear tape from a neighbouring teammate. “Sanjay!” another voice rings out, “Over here!” It appears that no two students are doing exactly the same thing. Yet somehow, without strict directions, there is an industrious harmony. Students are participating together as a community of thinkers and learners.

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