Cooperation and collaboration easily get lost to individualism and even egoism, but both are needed more than ever, when we face the challenges of the world today. Therefor they must be taught in school and all other settings of education. How do we do that?
In a world where individual success ranges above considerations for the common good, and where lifestyles turn toward individualized consumerism, there are new demands to schools and to education in general to teach cooperation and collaboration. We can say with certainty that the challenges facing us as humanity can only be solved if we, the people, get together and create solutions.
Education, schools and teachers must answer the call for teaching cooperation and collaboration. Students must, as a part of their education, learn in situation that demands them cooperating with each other and with people outside of their closest spheres. They must learn to share ownership of aspirations, goals and processes to reach them when collaborating on projects of importance.
It might not always be smooth sailing. Whenever we work together, we face contradictions, different points of views that have to be united or compromised on, diversity in ways of approaching situations based on cultures and political preferences. All this is part of cooperation and collaboration, and students and teachers need to become experts in overcoming such differences. Thus, education programmes in and out of schools must provide the framework for learning it.
Let us have a close look at an unique project reflecting how a way forward was found when needed, by students and teachers at one of Humana People to People 49 teacher training colleges in Guinea Bissau.
At ADPP Guinea Bissau’s Teacher Training College Cacheu, common meetings strengthen cooperation and collaboration in running the school. Common meetings is a collective and integrated part of the Humana People to People education pedagogy. It involves the active involvement of teachers, students and other employees in coordinating meetings where collective interactions, problem identifications and solutions are formulated.
Due to such a conduct, every person at the school, whether student, teacher or employee, carries out his/her duties better and with more engagement, and ensures that nothing goes wrong, as all have agreed on shared common values, ethics and standards for running the school.