An important feature of a group engaged in collaborative learning is to listen to and correct each other.
It is important to find alternative explanations and formulations and discuss what makes most sense.
A good learning environment requires an open space for testing and making errors.
We need not be afraid of trying out vague thoughts and concepts in a good learning environment.
A learning environment ensuring that "errors" are welcomed, is regarded as a key lever for enhancing learning according to the pedagogue John Hattie. Creating a safe and cooperative climate to make and learn from errors, from each other (teacher, students and peers), and optimize feedback are crucial factors for a good learning environment (Hattie, 2009, p.113).
We begin somewhere, and at that somewhere, the unclear, incorrect or "stupid" is an excellent beginning. But the group must be aware that it is only a beginning. Then comes the job of making sense of it all; the negotiation of meaning in a learning process.
There is thus a serious weakness in a group where the participants are afraid to throw in something capricious and "stupid". It is precisely thought experiments and the less reflected thought material that the group will analyze and make sense of.
Group members must therefore accustom themselves to be critical and to challenge each other's understanding in a friendly way
In the traditional one-way teaching there is a notion that the teacher obtains knowledge from the most objective and neutral sources and relays this knowledge to the students.
This approach has its roots in a time before the printing press, where a professor read aloud from the one, handwritten book that existed, and students wrote word for word what was dictated to them.
Students were a kind of audience and the professor the actor. For the student it was crucial to learn the words that were conveyed and to reproduce these exact words that the teacher or lecturer had said at an exam.
Being able to reproduce verbatim was more important than insight and deep understanding
Dissemination of information is still important in teaching situations. But mediation must be complemented with active knowledge building for learning to take place.
Modern education therefore strives to provide understanding. It is not regarded as sufficient just to be able to repeat the "correct" words if those words are not understood. Modern education therefore emphasises the building of good learning environments, where problem solving, peer and tutor interaction are included.
Hattie, J. (2009) Visible learning. A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement, Routledge