individual learning vs collaborative learning

Personally, I have always been an advocate of individual independent learning over collaborative group learning. This could be attributed to my inert and quiet nature and my tendency to dwell deep into the matter of issues. Sometimes, I find that having to work as a team can be conflicting with my personal individualistic approach and analysis of a problem.

But I do agree there is a place for collaborative work. In fact, a society functions because everyone plays their part to work and cooperate together.

Perhaps it depends on the nature of study or topic. Is the nature of problem/project more on critical thinking or creative thinking? Mathematicians would probably prefer to work alone to flow in their own chain of thoughts because the topics of math involves more critical thinking than creativity. There is a place for collaborative sharing and discussion but that comes later after one has personally analyses the subject.

I do perhaps see the relevance of collaborative work or learning in the process of creative thinking. But I would prefer individual work or learning when it comes to critical thinking. There could also be geniuses who feel that they want to be alone in the process of creative thinking as they perceive outsiders’ input to be a hindrance in their creative overflow.

Given a problem based scenario, I would have preferred to work on it individually to analyse the problem. But given a project where the deliverable involves the creation of a new product or artifact, I would think that working in a group is relevant for synergy and synthesis.

There is perhaps a lot more to collaborative learning other than individual accountability and positive interdependence. Collaboration should also involve the team to help/support and protect/cover up for one another. Teamwork involves observing and empathizing with one another to tap on each others’ strengths AND protecting/defending each others’ limitations.

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