Building a Co-operative Learning Climate
Chapter Preview By building a co-operative learning climate we aim to develop an open, interdependent atmosphere in the learning group – one which is both accepting and challenging; one which is most conducive to meaningful, deep learning; one which encourages learners to critically examine themselves, their work and their potential roles as change agents in the context of social, economic and political issues both inside and beyond the educational sector. We find the building of such a climate to be a fundamental step in opening our minds and our hearts; it also improves our chances of reaching our greatest potential as critical selfdirected learners and as facilitators of the self-directed learning of others. We accordingly consider building a co-operative learning climate to be the first step in the critical self-directed learning (SDL) process. Once such a climate has been established, participants can be encouraged to analyse their situations, and then to plan, implement and evaluate their learning as we describe in subsequent chapters.