The Cooperation Challenge is a fast-paced game that challenges students to work together as a team. They must quickly form groups that meet a specific criteria. If the challenge is not met by ALL, the team fails, reflects, and tries again. This process quickly gets them looking out for each other and letting go of toxic social norms that may have developed over time.
We all sink or we all swim.”
If you have been on a team or worked in a group, you have probably heard that statement. While it sounds good and the sentiment behind it is, no doubt, well intended, things don’t always work out that way. Sometimes some of us swim and let others sink. Sometimes some of us sink and drag others down with us. There is a fair share of people that have less than pleasant memories about group work in school. However, for cooperative learning to reach its maximum potential, and for drama to have the slightest chance at supporting the development of this skill, the concept of “we all sink or we all swim” must be made real and tangible.
We do that by explicitly teaching and regularly implementing strategies that develop cooperation. As a collaborative art form, drama requires that all members of an acting ensemble do their part and help others do their part, too.
Cooperative learning is a form of social-emotional learning. Recent research findings show that social-emotional learning programs improve academic performance and general school performance. A meta-analysis involving more than 200 studies of social-emotional learning programs, found that students scored more than 10 points higher in academic achievement and had better school attendance, grades, and social interactions within the classroom.
Further research supports the efficacies of cooperative learning in particular. How do we gracefully help students navigate the path to cooperative learning and success?
The Cooperation Challenge, the next Acting Right strategy, will help students navigate that path.
Let's learn how!
Cooperation is a muscle that only grows strong if it is exercised consistently. With the Cooperation Challenge, we exercise that muscle in three ways: