A Definition of Collaborative vs Cooperative Learning

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A Definition of Collaborative vs Cooperative Learning Ted Panitz (1996) [pic] I have been searching for many years for the Holy Grail of interactive learning, a distinction between collaborative and cooperative learning definitions. I am getting closer to my elusive goal all the time but I am still not completely satisfied with my perception of the two concepts. I believe my confusion arises when I look at processes associated with each concept and see some overlap or inter-concept usage. I will make a humble attempt to clarify this question by presenting my definitions and reviewing those of other authors who have helped clarify my thinking. Collaboration is a philosophy of interaction and personal lifestyle whereas cooperation is a…show more content…
The major difference lies in the fact that cooperative deals exclusively with traditional (canonical) knowledge while collaborative ties into the social constructivist movement, asserting that both knowledge and authority of knowledge have changed dramatically in the last century. "The result has been a transition from "foundational (cognitive) understanding of knowledge", to a nonfoundational ground where "we understand knowledge to be a social construct and learning a social process" (Brufee, Collaborative learning: Higher Education, Interdependence, and the Authority of Knowledge, 1993). Rockwood states: "In the ideal collaborative environment, the authority for testing and determining the appropriateness of the group product rests with, first, the small group, second, the plenary group (the whole class) and finally (but always understood to be subject to challenge and revision) the requisite knowledge community (i.e. the discipline: geography, history, biology etc.) The concept of non- foundational knowledge challenges not only the product acquired, but also the process employed in the acquisition of foundational knowledge." "Most importantly, in cooperative, the authority remains with the instructor, who retains ownership of the task, which involves either a closed or a closable (that is to say foundational) problem ( the instructor knows or can predict the answer). In collaborative, the instructor--once the task is set-- transfers

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