Planning a Unit of Instruction
The idea of cognitive apprenticeship is not new. Collins (2012) suggests that throughout human history, teaching and learning have been based on apprenticeship. These days it is mainly used to teach complex topics where decision making and problem solving are essential skills (Parscal & Hencmann, 2008). Cognitive apprenticeship is for example helpful to train students’ cooperation skills. In order to prove the validity of this assertion, the author of this paper provides considerations on how cognitive apprenticeship framework can be incorporated into the training unit to promote cooperation among senior school students.
Cooperation Skills for Students
Modern era can be called the “age of interdependence” (Smith, 2011). In this era, the importance of collaboration can be hardly underestimated. It is important to ensure that students who leave high school have excellent cooperation skills. Training of these skills is performed using cognitive apprenticeship, since it is a type of teaching where students learn to become practitioners, rather than learn about a practice. Teaching cooperation is carried out through the application of cognitive apprenticeship framework. The framework involves four elements – situated content, specific sequences of tasks and presentation, social learning, and methods (Parscal & Hencmann, 2008). The latter include modeling, scaffolding, coaching, fading, articulation, reflection, and exploration (Parscal & Hencmann, 2008). When reflecting on his own teaching practice, the author of this paper suggests that promoting cooperation in senior school students does not require a separate lesson. A teacher can train cooperation skills in the school curriculum while using classroom discussions as a way to teach educational material and a context to train cooperation skills. The suggestions on how the two processes can be combined are presented further in this paper.
Cognitive Apprenticeship Framework to Train Cooperation Skills
Situated content is the first, and evidently, the most important element of the cognitive apprenticeship framework. Parscal & Hencmann (2008) suggest that the content to be selected in a way so that it teaches tacit, heuristic, and domain knowledge. High school curriculum provides excellent opportunities to choose such content. In order to illustrate this idea, the author of this paper suggests considering the analysis of The Great Gatsby in literature classes.Fitzgerald’s novel does not provide ready answers. In order to understand the author’s intention, students are expected to conduct literature investigation. Valuable insights into the novel emerge when sharing ideas with classmates. The novel is thus considered an excellent content to train cooperation skills in students.
The study of the novel is divided into stages, each of which corresponds to a particular lesson or an extracurricular activity. During the first stage, the teacher tells students about the novel and how it was written. He also tells students about learning activities included in the unit. The method that is used at this stage is modeling, and it has two objectives. On the one hand, students become more knowledgeable about the learning unit. On the other hand, modeling is used to motivate students, as at this stage they are told that familiarity with the …