Dr. Baros is a dedicated researcher, educator, and LGBTQ advocate. Her areas of expertise are proficiency-based language teaching and creating inclusive environments for LGBTQ students and people.
Although I felt like my prior posts on using Kagan with CI caused a bit of a stir and a fair amount of conversation, I didn't realize just how much those ideas might endure and be attached to me until someone approached me at a Conference this weekend and asked me about using Kagan. Due to this, I feel like I need to post an update about my current position on Kagan Cooperative Learning in the CI classroom:
Due to my experiences over the past few months, I've had a "rebirth" of sorts into the CI world. Because of this, I have taken some significant steps away from using Kagan as a main method in my classroom and instead focusing on simply storytelling and communicating compelling and comprehensible methods. However, Kagan and the underlying principals of cooperative learning do still have their appropriate places and are used often in my classroom - just not as extensively and not in the same way that I was using them before. I do still feel that cooperative learning is essential in my classroom for a few reasons - it demonstrates my faith in students to figure something out on their own, allows them to build relationship through supporting one another, adds variety to the classroom, and especially because it gives me an opportunity to hear how they verbalize their internal processing of the language - I occasionally realize that the class was "understanding" something in a different way than I intended, and this gives me a quick break from instructing to monitor and adjust instruction as we move forward. I generally use teacher-centered instruction for co-creation of stories, which forms the backbone of the language that we use in class. The cooperative activities (including Kagan) come into play when students are processing input together, such as re-reading a story that we co-created. There are excellent structures beyond Kagan that utilize cooperative learning, such as the "Running Dictation" or any variation thereof. As long as students are engaging in Positive Interdependence, have Independent Accountability, have Equal Opportunities to participate, and are Simultaneously Interacting, then all of the benefits of true cooperative learning are present and valid.
Dr. Beniko Mason
Dr. Stephen Krashen
Dr. Krashen's Blog
Watch Tina Teach!
CI Liftoff - Facebook
iFLT - Facebook