As my children are entrenched in their teenage years, I’ve noticed that they don’t like to eat well balanced meals. In general their plates tend to be loaded down with good tasting, fat filled carbs, or deliciously sweet desserts. My wife and I are constantly giving our children gentle reminders about the seriousness of them staying healthy. Studies have shown that exercise along with a well-balanced diet will help keep an individual healthy.
Recently while researching this idea hit me again. However, this time it was not for my physical health but for the health of my classroom. I was looking at the Kagan Cooperative Learning website when I stumbled across the following quote:
“If we were advocating exclusive use of cooperative learning, we would leave students very ill prepared. Students need to know how to work independently, and they need to know how to compete. We don’t, however, advocate cooperative learning as the only way to teach. We feel cooperative learning should be a big part of the instructional diet, not the whole diet” (Kaganonline.com).
If you are familiar with Kagan, they have excellent structures for student engagement. I am glad that they see that, “cooperative learning should be a big part of the instructional diet, [but] not the whole diet.” There is something to be said about a well- balanced classroom diet.