Why Partnered Learning Makes Sense
Imagine a scenario where the younger sibling of a toddler steps in to babysit the older sibling. The older sibling then decides to just sit in the living room, playing with the floor.
Everyone works together and seems to run smoothly, such as putting away the toys and cutting the grass. But there are little whispers of “we’re all, pretty much, on the same page,” as they agree that the older brother is going to have to clean his room. Eventually, the older brother realizes his mistake and starts to change his game plan.
This is an example of when blended learning works. It combines multiple elements of another approach – blending both conscious and unconscious strategies to achieve results. This strategy requires a well-thought-out plan that also ensures each individual approaches the daily task or activity with the right attitude.
Those who are using blended learning strategies may find that they are building on strengths of the one type they adopted. For example, a planner who prioritizes time and acknowledges things that need to be done quickly can now be applying the same proactive tactics to learning. While this may not be positive for the planner, it probably isn’t a negative for the individual as he or she relates to the blended learning process.
Another example of this type of learning comes from research reports that point to the self-confidence associated with children who participated in blended learning programs such as e-schools. Research indicates that children who were interested in learning and engaged with what they were learning were also attracted to socializing with others and getting involved in ongoing efforts as well as innovation, as was illustrated when children were provided an environment for working together in school and creating new, successful models.
Although the latest study did not identify a specific type of blended learning, it was found that the number of activities initiated increased after learning alternatives for each activity were provided. For example, children who focused on a problem in which they enjoyed solving led to the expansion of learning after opting for a problem that did not lead to comfort and enjoyment.
Even though blended learning brings forth opportunities for unique insights and benefits, there is often a potential negative as well. With blended learning, a teacher is used in the supervision of a variety of situations that may not be considered in an individualized curriculum, for example, children enrolled in an after-school program who may have attended sports programs or clubs and need time to catch up. Another example is the option to use a blended learning setting during the instructional day rather than during the school day. While parents may love the chance to be involved, this may present challenges, for example, having to keep a child busy during school hours while finding time to do chores.
For parents and educators who have the time and patience to incorporate blended learning into a child’s educational experience, the rewards are usually at least as impressive as the traditional learning method.