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Beliefs about a constructive learning environment

(This section is taken from Gender Dimensions: Constructing interpersonal skills in the classroom, by Andrea Allard and Jeni Wilson.)

A co-operative, constructive learning environment is established by teachers and children who:

  • take the time to develop team cohesion and communication skills

  • are willing to investigate co-operative learning strategies

  • value difference and collective expertise

  • know how to use and value active listening and assertive speaking

  • see conflict as opportunity to learn rather than something to be avoided (never accept put-downs or harassment)

  • regularly assess group skills and set goals together

  • use their power to ensure that others can use theirs

  • reflect often on their own learning, group skills and understandings of gender

  • monitor their own interactions with other people to ensure this is constructive

  • make changes slowly, review regularly and recognise that mistakes are a part of learning

  • acknowledge that change is difficult but worthwhile

  • celebrate their own successes and support other teachers and children

For games that reinforce a constructive learning environment, go to Games about co-operation.

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Last revised April, 2001
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