Rather than having students work in isolation on a project or problem, instill learning and working communities that collaborate.
To foster the discipline of collaboration, here is a simple technique to try: Have students volunteer to relate something that SOMEONE ELSE has done successfully. Then decide on how often this activity should be conducted, such as weekly or monthly.
You’ll find that trust and a collaborative spirit grow by having others share positive incidents of someone other than him/herself. Examples of incidents could be helping someone with an assignment, using a new procedure, or being a friend to someone in need.
Rather than the usual approach of the teacher recognizing one person above the others, sharing activities or incidents empowers the classroom community without the negative “punished by rewards” syndrome created when a deserving person does not receive recognition or a reward.