I was born in Denmark in 1971 and I have worked and lived here in the UK on and off since the late 90s. Basically I love this place and so in 2013 I decided to move here permanently with my wife and three children.
My love for Cooperative Learning stems from having witnessed its power first-hand in the most challenged environment: Exam average in our underachieving, underfunded school had moved from E to C two years into my tenure as head of English, and national average was surpassed in four years.
I want to see Cooperative Learning create an empowered, accountable, innovative next generation of Britons. I want to see this confused, polite, wild, and tea-drinking people find their stride as the world leader, not of some industrial revolution re-run, but of a post-industrial revolution: Men and women who are able to uncover their own values; to make meaningful choices; to build and run their own businesses; to find equilibrium in themselves and in their national past to form a better future; to lend their voice to sensible debate, rather than buy simplistic political spins. There’s more, but you get the drift.
So, how does that relate to you surviving the next Ofsted inspection? Well, first of all, business and governments have been screaming for differently worded versions of this vision for ages. That’s the first part of the answer.
The second part of the answer is that if you are anything like everyone else in (and often outside of) education, you see outstanding results as just a by-product of such skill sets. Like I was, you are just struggling day-to-day in the classroom to join Dennis the Person to Dennis the Datasheet.
This is why authentic Cooperative Learning – not to be mixed up with disorganised “group-work” – is the way forward for any school with low resources, tired staff, small budgets, and big challenges. It’s like instant coffee, “just add pupils and stir.”
The more I work with schools here, the more evidence I find that Cooperative Learning is the ideal way to balance student-centred learning and empowered individuals with full teacher control and smash results to create a respectful, relaxed, yet highly effective, learning environment.
Full-spectrum and flexible, attainment and social skills, classbuilding and community; teacher-led and student-centred, nothing but Cooperative Learning will offer anything remotely close, even at four times the price.
I have spoken on these topics in several workshops, conferences and seminars, including the inaugural BRAIS conference at Edinburgh University, and the EIC in London in 2014, UKFIET 2015 at Oxford University, and recently lead a major conference in Turkey on Cooperative Learning and the education of Syrian refugees.
I am always open to individuals or institutions who wish to explore the power of Cooperative Learning in their fields of expertise. CooperateBeLiterate with the author of ReadingforLearning, and the Enquiry & Immersion school programme are examples of such fertile collaboration, and demonstrate the almost endless reach of Cooperative Learning.
In summary, my vision is to see Cooperative Learning change the face of UK education in such a way that everyone wins.
It’s possible, simply because “we” is more than “me.”