Collaborative learning: a veritable tool for promoting classroom participation among pre-service teachers in rural universities in South Africa
Adebola, Oyinlola Omolara
MetadataShow full item record
The benefits of collaborative learning (CL) in teaching-learning have been well-documented. According to existing literature, it will help students and teachers learn from one another, develop good communication skills, foster a sense of community, trust and respect, and retain and apply the information in their future studies. Unfortunately, observation coupled with research shows that pre-service teachers’ participation in South Africa's rural universities is at its lowest ebb – a potential source of concern to education stakeholders given its futuristic implications in the light of CL benefits. Less pre-service teachers’ participation has been linked to cultural influence, environmental factors and students’ backgrounds and have negatively impacted students’ academic achievement. This paper seeks to typify CL as a panacea to pre-service teachers' apathy toward learning. In doing this, social constructivism theory (SCT) was adopted to underpin the study. Drawing from the principles of participatory action research, fifteen undergraduate students were randomly selected, and data was gathered with the instrumentation of semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The study revealed the think-peer-share strategy, group work strategy, micro-teaching strategy, positive feedback and encouragement, learner-centred method, and inquiry method as strategies for improving participation among pre-service teachers in rural universities. Recommendations were made in line with the findings of the study.