Jacobs of GS, Leynes of AB discuss
Cooperative Learning at int’l conference in Croatia

To connect with scientists, researchers, and practitioners, UST Graduate School Visiting Professor Dr. George M. Jacobs and English Department academic staff Asst. Prof. Selenne Anne S. Leynes presented their lecture on Cooperative Learning at an international conference hosted by the Department of Pedagogy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and International Interdisciplinary Learning Community ENNEA from November 4 to 5, 2022.

Jacobs and Leynes emphasized in the two-day hybrid conference that cooperation is a solution to many of the world’s problems, and that people should possess the heartware and software for it.

Leynes discussed the benefits of cooperation, such as having more and better-tested ideas, greater enjoyment, deeper learning, social skills, and lifelong learning.

“With cooperation, it is not just one plus one equals two but actually, one plus one equals three:  your ideas, my ideas, and the third, a new set of ideas, our combined ideas,” said Leynes.

During the conference, Jacobs also mentioned that this frame of mind is linked to the Social Interdependence Theory, a long-established theory which seeks to understand and facilitate cooperation.

“When group members feel positively interdependent, they feel as though their outcomes are positively correlated: this means that members feel that what helps one member helps all, and what one hurts one, hurts all,” said Jacobs.

The participants in this international interdisciplinary scientific and professional conference titled “Learning Outside the Box: The Values and Controversies of Learning in a New Age” were introduced to strategies to facilitate student-student cooperation in academic settings. These strategies include the teaching of collaborative skills, techniques for promoting feelings of positive interdependence among students, service learning, cooperative controversy, maximum peer interactions, individual accountability, equal opportunity to participate, heterogeneous grouping, and cooperation as a value.

Translated to the Croatian language and presented with subtitles, the pre-recorded lecture was capped with the question “Can people cooperate effectively?” to which Jacobs answered “absolutely!” The conference details may be found at https://konferencija.ennea.hr.

Jacobs is a Visiting Professorial Lecturer from Universiti Malaya, Malaysia. He also teaches the course Language Theory and Practice at the UST Graduate School, while Leynes is a Ph.D. graduate student in the English Language Studies program and a faculty member from the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Letters.

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