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Supporting Student Development of Competencies:

Demonstrate Good Communication Skills and the Ability to Work
Cooperatively with Others

This learning guide is designed for use by

professional learning communities, leaders,
learning coaches and teachers, or as a self-paced
study to explore practical strategies to support student
development of Albertas competencies across the
curriculum and in every classroom.

This learning guide shares several strategies and ideas related to

supporting student development of the competency Demonstrate
Good Communication Skills and the Ability to Work Cooperatively with
Others. Some of the strategies and ideas shared are ones you may have
already used with your students. The shift is to become intentional
about highlighting/discussing how these tried and true strategies
support the development of one or more competencies.

Use this Learning Guide after viewing

Demonstrate good communication skills and the ability to
work cooperatively with others as well as Alberta
Educations competency indicators.

Learner Profile: Successful development of the Demonstrate Good Communication Skills and the Ability to Work Cooperatively
with Others competency results in a learner who is able to communicate clearly, effectively and respectfully for diverse
audiences and purposes. This learner builds community through collaboration, leadership and valuing diversity. He/she
understands and interprets a wide range of messages and integrates ideas from a variety of sources into a coherent whole.

Key Strategies/Ideas:

Help students identify the purpose of their message/communication in

relation to a specific audience, context or culture. A clear purpose and
understanding their audience, context and culture will assist in selecting
the most appropriate method/mode of communication.
Learn to synthesize information.
Teach/encourage students to learn about and apply appropriate ways of
working together within an organization, group or culture to
demonstrate respect.
Provide time for students to reflect on and evaluate their growth related
to communicating effectively by co-constructing criteria with them.
Identify barriers to learning and effective communication (Katz and Dack,
Mental Shortcuts we dont think through all the possibilities
Confirmation Bias we focus on confirming our hypotheses, not
challenging them
Illusory Superiority we consider ourselves to be exceptions
Vividness Bias we pay too much attention to things that are vivid
Omission Bias we hesitate to take action in a new direction
Imposter Syndrome we dont want others to see our
With your students, develop norms for working together. Norms such as
equity of voice, active listening, confidentiality, safety to share different
perspectives and sharing of responsibilities, resources and timelines can
provide direction for effective collaboration and teamwork. Set aside
time for students to reflect on how well they are living their norms as
well as work collaboratively to address norms that are not being lived.
Protocols help to structure discussion that leads to deeper learning.
Protocols assist in:
o developing a culture of trust and mutual appreciation;
o promoting focused, substantive, in-depth conversations about a
specific topic;
o reducing the tendency toward subjective, digressive or one-sided
o encouraging active, respectful listening among all participants.

This Professional Learning Guide was developed by the Edmonton
Regional Learning Consortium and funded through a grant from
Alberta Education to support implementation. It is provided for free
in support of improved teaching and learning under the following
Creative Commons license.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion:

In what ways is this competency related to the Multiple

Literacies competency? What other competencies are
related to this competency?

What are the benefits of co-constructing with students the

criteria for effective communication?

How have the barriers to learning and communication

impacted you? What might be some possible solutions to
one or more of the barriers?

What other strategies have you used to support student

development of the competency Demonstrate Good
Communication Skills and the Ability to Work
Cooperatively with Others?

For more information:

Co-Constructing Success Criteria, Canadian Education Association
Peels Growing Success Monograph Series: Rethinking
Professional Learning 1 - 12 (Summary of Katz and Dacks work)
The Science Behind Classroom Norming, Edutopia