Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dependence -v- Interdependence

I'm reading what Stephen Covey writes about dependence, independence, interdependence and paradigms and I'm thinking how this can relate to students and learning.  Briefly this is what he says:

  • Dependence - the paradigm of you, as in you take care of me.  Dependent people need others in order to get things done.
  • Independence - the paradigm of I, as in I am responsible, I can choose and I can do it.  Independent people don't need others as they can get what they want through their own efforts.
  • Interdependence - the paradigm of we, as in we can do it, we can combine our talents and abilities, we can create something great together.  Interdependent people combine their efforts and so achieve their greatest success.
Often in schools we start off with young children who are very dependent on us, and we aim to create a sense of independence in students by the time they leave school.  However reading about interdependence made me realize that perhaps this is a better goal for us as teachers - that we encourage students to learn to cooperate with others, and together create something better and more dynamic that they could have done by themselves.

Photo Credit: w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines) via Compfight cc

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