Group work, which is also known as collaborative or cooperative learning, is one of the best researched of all teaching strategies. Research results have shown that students who have opportunities to work collaboratively learn faster and more efficiently, have greater retention, and feel more positive about the learning experience (Johnson, Johnson & Smith, 1991). Although these teaching/learning strategies have undergone nearly fifty years of research and scores of studies, the extent of their recognition and application varies tremendously in various parts of the world. During a 3-week International On-line Collaboration Discussion Seminar, (an event arranged by the Schools Around the World program held by the Council for Basic Education, Washington), teachers and national/regional facilitators from six participating nations/ regions shared their ideas and knowledge based on their experiences in implementing group work, particularly in the subject of science. Three major topics were explored within the seminar: defining group work, assessment of group work, and professional development for supporting implementation of group work. This paper provides insights for group work in science education by drawing references from the shared ideas in the international seminar, in order to provide its implication in the future direction for science teaching in Hong Kong consistent with the current reform. As stated in the Hong Kong Government curriculum development document, a design for a student-focused curriculum is called upon for meeting the best interest of students and developing their different intelligence (Curriculum Development Council, 2000). Group work consists of various teaching and learning strategies with a sound record of research history and experimental results worldwide; therefore, it can provide resources for meeting these objectives. This on-line seminar provides a global educational community for teachers in Hong Kong (General Studies teachers at primary schools and science teachers at secondary schools), first allowing them to realize their own stage of group work implementation compared to other countries, then forming a basis for strengthening or modifying their current teaching models. Copyright © 2001 HKIEd APFSLT.
|Journal||Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2001|