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ERIC Number: ED318865
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Collaborative Learning, Circa 1880.
Martin, Theodora Penny
Collaborative learning, such as student-team learning or work-group learning, has become the focus of inservice workshops for teachers, a theme in professional journals, and the daily routine in an increasing number of classrooms. The women's study clubs in late 19th-century United States used a similar pedagogy. By the early 1900s, perhaps as many as 1 million white, middle-class, middle-aged women belonged to these clubs, the local membership of which was generally limited to 20 members who met biweekly for 2 hours in each others' homes to pursue a course of study. Apart from the three taboo subjects (religion, politics, and "the woman question"), the inquiry of club women was wide ranging and included literature, art, history, music, geography, astronomy, botany, and foreign languages. The group decided what to study from September to June and assigned the program for each meeting. Seven or eight members read papers they had written on the assignment during each meeting. The sessions were governed by parliamentary procedure. Every member was expected to participate in some way at each meeting. At the turn of the century, most clubs began to change their focus from education for self to education for service. Study club women had at first modeled their curriculum on that of the academy in order to authenticate their intellectual abilities in an age when women's reproductive organs were reputed to drain their brains. However, they modified the pedagogy of the academy--the recitation--into collaborative learning by acknowledging a common goal, working toward it as a community, expecting participation from all members in various roles over time, and performing as writers and reciters to please one another rather than a teacher. A few study clubs of this original model remained vigorous well into the 20th century. (The document contains six references.) (CML)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A