The Cooperative Learning Initiative (CLI): Q & A

What is the CLI?
The idea of setting the CLI is to create a platform for alternative education particularly for homeschoolers to share resources and capabilities in a SUSTAINABLE model.

What are the objectives?
We would like to start with the END GAME. If you are familiar with Steven Covey’s 7-Habits, Habit #1 is “to begin with the end in mind”. We want to create the best opportunities for our children:

√ to be SELF-MOTIVATED and self-directed in their learning.
√ to INTERACT and to learn from one another in a group setting.
√ to be EDUCATED in body, mind and spirit through the balance of sports, the academics and spirituality.
√ to EXPRESS themselves through music and art, public speaking and presentations.
√ to CULTIVATE COMPASSION for others through charity or volunteer programs. It is not just about which college or university our kids will enter or graduate in. It is about how they will live their lives and be emotionally fulfilled, socially responsible and financially savvy. Hence, our objective is to help children understand themselves, others and the world around them through learning and playing together with close parental guidance and involvement.

What would the approaches or strategy?
A couple of basic approaches:

√ To harness the skills and expertise of parents in facilitating and guiding the children in the various areas of interest and subjects.
√ To harness the latest technologies in merging virtual learning and hands-on learning.
√ To evolve an develop different programs for children with different learning styles.
√ To seek and utilize our local community and resources for mentoring or apprenticeship opportunities.

How does one get involved?
One must be involved. This is a community and cooperative effort. Do so by signing-up as members of the CLI and to participate on a regular basis.

The CLI is not a “drop-and-run” zone. The CLI is an extension of homeschooling and the way forward as a SUPPORT PLATFORM. This means that parents (or at least, a parent) needs to be involved, to some extent. This platform can also help ease families into homeschooling.

Will children be involved?
Definitely! We hope to bring ownership and a sense of camaraderie among fellow students by doing projects together. Besides that, we plan to roll out internship programs and have the older kids run the place themselves. Positions are being planned and kids will be invited to fill them. They will work as interns and will be given tasks to complete and manage. Regular meetings will be held and they will be walked through the processes, social and business interaction. The aim is to bring REAL WORLD experience to the laps of the kids!

What curriculum will the CLI be using?
We will be using various materials from various sources and not any fixed or packaged curriculum for the very reason that knowledge is dynamic and not static. Having said that, we also understand that parents would like their children to be adequately “prepared” for college admission when the time comes. Towards that end, we have in mind the US / SAT as the base as the SAT is more flexible and is wider in scope as compared to the “O” levels. Also, in the long run it will be easier to work and collaborate with US colleges which, due to its history, are more open to homeschoolers. Efforts are being made to establish such connections.

What are the approaches to learning at the CLI?
Bearing in mind this is not a school, elements of teaching and learning will be very different. Parents form the teaching “staff” (as it were). We encourage parents who are currently coaching their own children to extend their “class” to others. This is part of the “cooperative” principle.

What will be the programs offered at the CLI?
There will be planned academic and non-academic programs. The basic academic programs to be offered will be:

i) mathematics (elementary till high-school level)
ii) science (elementary till high school level)
iii) creative arts (music & art)
iv) 3Rs (pre-school level)

There will also be elective subjects to be offered depending on the availability of parents to contribute. Elective subjects include (but not limited) to the following:

i) Bahasa Malaysia
ii) English
iii) Chinese / Mandarin
iv) Others (other languages, geography & history, speech & drama, animation, movie-making, cooking & baking etc)

Besides the academic subjects, we also encourage parents who have special skills to share with the kids via talks, programs or internships. Learning will be mainly project and thematic-based.

What is unique about the CLI project?

√ It is an extension of homeschooling whereby parents take the responsibility of teaching and guiding the children in a group setting at a shared resource center.
√ Children get to choose what they want to learn and parents get to share their expertise and experience.
√ It is run with the involvement of parents and children with SUSTAINABILITY in mind and not PROFITABILITY.
√ It is NOT a private school but a private initiative with the intention of evolving it into a non-profit organization
√ There will be extensive usage of the internet for research and sharing purposes. Children get to blog on their daily work and submit their homework online.

Skills and career path – Instead of just giving a college path, we are also looking at having the CLI a platform for kids to enhance their skills based on interest and build opportunities to start new businesses. For one, we plan to have kids run (part) of the CLI and be, hopefully, paid (still budgeting it though) like an intern. With management meetings, KPIs and deadlines…etc Giving a taste of the real world!

More later.

If you have a questions/feedback, please CLICK HERE.

Earlier postings on CLI HERE and HERE

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2 Responses to The Cooperative Learning Initiative (CLI): Q & A

  1. R.Baskaren says:

    please update me

  2. Pingback: The Heart of Learning (CLI-C) « Learning Beyond Schooling

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