My research into the dynamics and mechanics of collaboration and teaching collaborative practices started as a studio art project with a colleague. In this project, we worked deliberately and self-consciously on our collaboration to extract a set of parameters or guidelines for our students. Since then, I have helped develop a linked pair of courses titled “Integrative Studio” and “Integrative Seminar” that include “teaching students how to collaborate” as a learning outcome. My research for this article began by asking faculty who teach this course how they approach the topic. This article is grounded in four narratives that describe how to teach students to work in groups. Working in groups teaches students the meaning of the word peer in an authentic manner as a lived experience that is central to contemporary discussions of effective learning. Students who learn to collaborate may gain a deeper understanding of the way their minds work, find a commitment to building strong communities, understand dispositions toward learning, and exercise higher-order thinking skills. Although my work is specifically within art and design, the ideas and strategies discussed could be applied to or adapted for other contexts.

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