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  1. 1. Cooperative learning is an approach to organizing classroom activities into academic and social learning experiences. Students must work in groups to complete tasks collectively. Unlike individual learning, students learning cooperatively capitalize on one another’s resources and skills (asking one another for information, evaluating one another’s ideas, monitoring one another’s work, etc.).[1][2] Furthermore, the teacher's role changes from giving information to facilitating students' learning. [3][4]Everyone succeeds when the group succeeds.<br />Contents[hide]1 History 2 Types 3 Elements 4 Research supporting cooperative learning 5 Limitations 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading <br />[edit] History<br />Prior to World War II, social theorists such as Allport, Watson, Shaw, and Mead began establishing cooperative learning theory after finding that group work was more effective and efficient in quantity, quality, and overall productivity when compared to working alone.[5] However, it wasn’t until 1937 when researchers May and Doob[6] found that people who cooperate and work together to achieve shared goals, were more successful in attaining outcomes, than those who strived independently to complete the same goals. Furthermore, they found that independent achievers had a greater likelihood of displaying competitive behaviours. Philosophers and psychologists in the 1930s and 40’s such as John Dewey, Kurt Lewin, and Morton Deutsh also influenced the cooperative learning theory practiced today.[7] Dewey believed it was important that students develop knowledge and social skills that could be used outside of the classroom, and in the democratic society. This theory portrayed students as active recipients of knowledge by discussing information and answers in groups, engaging in the learning process together rather than being passive receivers of information (e.g. teacher talking, students listening). Lewin’s contributions to cooperative learning were based on the ideas of establishing relationships between group members in order to successfully carry out and achieve the learning goal. Deutsh’s contribution to cooperative learning was positive social interdependence, the idea that the student is responsible for contributing to group knowledge.[7] Since then, David and Roger Johnson have been actively contributing to the cooperative learning theory. In 1975, they identified that cooperative learning promoted mutual liking, better communication, high acceptance and support, as well as demonstrated an increase in a variety of thinking strategies among individuals in the group.[8] Students who showed to be more competitive lacked in their interaction and trust with others, as well as in their emotional involvement with other students. In 1994 Johnson and Johnson published the 5 elements (positive interdependence, individual accountability, face-to-face interaction, social skills, and processing) essential for effective group learning, achievement, and higher-order social, personal and cognitive skills (e.g., problem solving, reasoning, decision-making, planning, organizing, and reflecting).[9]<br />[edit] Types<br />Formal cooperative learning is structured, facilitated, and monitored by the educator over time and is used to achieve group goals in task work (e.g. completing a unit). Any course material or assignment can be adapted to this type of learning, and groups can vary from 2-6 people with discussions lasting from a few minutes up to a period. Types of formal cooperative learning strategies include jigsaw, assignments that involve group problem solving and decision making, laboratory or experiment assignments, and peer review work (e.g. editing writing assignments). Having experience and developing skill with this type of learning often facilitates informal and base learning.[10]<br />Informal cooperative learning incorporates group learning with passive teaching by drawing attention to material through small groups throughout the lesson or by discussion at the end of a lesson, and typically involves groups of two (e.g. turn-to-your-partner discussions). These groups are often temporary and can change from lesson to lesson (very much unlike formal learning where 2 students may be lab partners throughout the entire semester contributing to one another’s knowledge of science). Discussions typically have four components that include formulating a response to questions asked by the educator, sharing responses to the questions asked with a partner, listening to a partner’s responses to the same question, and creating a new well-developed answer. This type of learning enables the student to process, consolidate, and retain more information learned.[10]<br />In group-based cooperative learning, these peer groups gather together over the long term (e.g. over the course of a year, or several years such as in high school or post-secondary studies) to develop and contribute to one another’s knowledge mastery on a topic by regularly discussing material, encouraging one another, and supporting the academic and personal success of group members. Base group learning is effective for learning complex subject matter over the course or semester and establishes caring, supportive peer relationships, which in turn motivates and strengthens the student’s commitment to the group’s education while increasing self-esteem and self worth. Base group approaches also make the students accountable to educating their peer group in the event that a member was absent for a lesson. This is effective both for individual learning, as well as social support.[10]<br />[edit] Elements<br />Brown & Ciuffetelli Parker (2009) discuss the 5 basic and essential elements to cooperative learning:[11]<br />1. Positive Interdependence<br />Students must fully participate and put forth effort within their group <br />Each group member has a task/role/responsibility therefore must believe that they are responsible for their learning and that of their group <br />2. Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction<br />Member promote each others success <br />Students explain to one another what they have or are learning and assist one another with understanding and completion of assignments <br />3. Individual Accountability<br />Each student must demonstrate master of the content being studied <br />Each student is accountable for their learning and work, therefore eliminating “social loafing” <br />4. Social Skills<br />Social skills that must be taught in order for successful cooperative learning to occur <br />Skills include effective communication, interpersonal and group skills <br />i. Leadership <br />ii. Decision-making <br />iii. Trust-building <br />iv. Communication <br />v. Conflict-management skills <br />5. Group Processing<br />Every so often groups must assess their effectiveness and decide how it can be improved <br />In order for student achievement to improve considerably, two characteristics must be present a) Students are working towards a group goal or recognition and b) success is reliant on each individual’s learning[12]<br />a. When designing cooperative learning tasks and reward structures, individual responsibility and accountability must be identified. Individuals must know exactly what their responsibilities are and that they are accountable to the group in order to reach their goal. <br />b. Positive Interdependence among students in the task. All group members must be involved in order for the group to complete the task. In order for this to occur each member must have a task that they are responsible for which cannot be completed by any other group member. <br />[edit] Research supporting cooperative learning<br />Research on cooperative learning demonstrated “overwhelmingly positive” results and confirmed that cooperative modes are cross-curricular.[13] Cooperative learning requires students to engage in group activities that increase learning and adds other important dimensions.[11] The positive outcomes include: academic gains, improved race relations and increased personal and social development.[11] Brady & Tsay (2010) report that students who fully participated in group activities, exhibited collaborative behaviours, provided constructive feedback and cooperated with their group had a higher likelihood of receiving higher test scores and course grades at the end of the semester. Results from Brady & Tsay’s (2010) study support the notion that cooperative learning is an active pedagogy that fosters higher academic achievement (p. 85).<br />Slavin states the following regarding research on cooperative learning which corresponds with Brady & Tsay’s (2010) findings.[12]<br />Students demonstrate academic achievement <br />Cooperative learning methods are usually equally effective for all ability levels. <br />Cooperative learning is affective for all ethnic groups <br />Student perceptions of one another are enhanced when given the opportunity to work with one another <br />Cooperative learning increases self esteem and self concept <br />Ethnic and physically/mentally handicapped barriers are broken down allowing for positive interactions and friendships to occur <br />[edit] Limitations<br />Cooperative Learning has many limitations that could cause the process to be more complicated then first perceived. Sharan (2010) discusses the issue regarding the constant evolution of cooperative learning is discussed as a threat. Due to the fact that cooperative learning is constantly changing, there is the possibility that teachers may become confused and lack complete understanding of the method. Teachers implementing cooperative learning may also be challenged with resistance and hostility from students who believe that they are being held back by their slower teammates or by students who are less confident and feel that they are being ignored or demeaned by their team.[7]<br />[edit] See also<br />Cooperative education <br />Collaborative learning <br />Thesis circle <br />people <br />Ming Ming Chiu <br />Elizabeth Cohen <br />David Johnson <br />Roger Johnson <br />Angela O'Donnell <br />Robert Slavin <br />[edit] References<br />^ Chiu, M. M. (2000). Group problem solving processes: Social interactions and individual actions. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 30, 1, 27-50.600-631. <br />^ Chiu, M. M. (2008).Flowing toward correct contributions during groups' mathematics problem solving: A statistical discourse analysis. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 17 (3), 415 - 463. <br />^ Chiu, M. M. (2004). Adapting teacher interventions to student needs during cooperative learning. American Educational Research Journal, 41, 365-399. <br />^ Cohen, E. G. (1994). Designing group work. New York: Teacher's College. <br />^ Gilles, R.M., & Adrian, F. (2003). Cooperative Learning: The social and intellectual Outcomes of Learning in Groups. London: Farmer Press. <br />^ May, M. and Doob, L. (1937). Cooperation and Competition. New York: Social Sciences Research Council <br />^ a b c Sharan, Y. (2010). Cooperative Learning for Academic and Social Gains: valued pedagogy, problematic practice. European Journal of Education, 45,(2), 300-313. <br />^ Johnson, D., Johnson, R. (1975). Learning together and alone, cooperation, competition, and individualization. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. <br />^ Johnson, D., Johnson, R. (1994). Learning together and alone, cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning. Needham Heights, MA: Prentice-Hall. <br />^ a b c Johnson, D., Johnson, R., & Holubec, E. (1988). Advanced Cooperative Learning. Edin, MN: Interaction Book Company. <br />^ a b c Brown, H., & Ciuffetelli, D.C. (Eds.). (2009). Foundational methods: Understanding teaching and learning. Toronto: Pearson Education. <br />^ a b Brown, H., & Ciuffetelli, D.C. (Eds.). (2009). Foundational methods: Understanding teaching and learning, p. 507. Toronto: Pearson Education. <br />^ Brown, H., & Ciuffetelli, D.C. (Eds.). (2009). Foundational methods: Understanding teaching and learning, p. 508. Toronto: Pearson Education. <br />[edit] Further reading<br />Aldrich, H., & Shimazoe,J. (2010). Group work can be gratifying: Understanding and overcoming resistance to cooperative learning. College Teaching, 58(2), 52-57. <br />Baker,T., & Clark, J. (2010). Cooperative learning- a double edged sword: A cooperative learning model for use with diverse student groups. Intercultural Education, 21(3), 257-268. <br />Kose, S., Sahin, A., Ergu, A., & Gezer, K. (2010). The effects of cooperative learning experience on eight grade students’ achievement and attitude toward science. Education, 131 (1), 169-180. <br />Lynch, D. (2010). Application of online discussion and cooperative learning strategies to online and blended college courses. College Student Journal, 44(3), 777-784. <br />Naested, I., Potvin, B., & Waldron, P. (2004). Understanding the landscape of teaching. Toronto: Pearson Education. <br />Scheurell, S. (2010). Virtual warrenshburg: Using cooperative learning and the internet in the social studies classroom. Social Studies, 101(5), 194-199. <br />Tsay, M., & Brady, M. (2010). A case study of cooperative learning and communication pedagogy: Does working in teams make a difference? Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(2), 78 – 89. <br />Retrieved from ""<br />Categories: Education reform | Curricula | Philosophy of education | Pedagogy | Standards-based education<br />Hidden categories: Wikipedia references cleanup from April 2011 | Wikipedia articles needing cleanup from May 2010 | All articles needing cleanup<br />Personal tools<br />Log in / create account <br />Namespaces<br />Article <br />Discussion <br />Variants<br />Views<br />Read <br />Edit <br />View history <br />Actions<br />Search<br />Top of Form<br />Bottom of Form<br />Navigation<br />Main page <br />Contents <br />Featured content <br />Current events <br />Random article <br />Donate to Wikipedia <br />Interaction<br />Help <br />About Wikipedia <br />Community portal <br />Recent changes <br />Contact Wikipedia <br />Toolbox<br />What links here <br />Related changes <br />Upload file <br />Special pages <br />Permanent link <br />Cite this page <br />Print/export<br />Create a book <br />Download as PDF <br />Printable version<br />Languages<br />Català <br />Cymraeg <br />Deutsch <br />Español <br />Français <br />Bahasa Indonesia <br />Italiano <br />עברית <br />Magyar <br />Nederlands <br />Português <br />Suomi <br />This page was last modified on 14 June 2011 at 20:28.<br /><ul><li>Definition: Cooperative learning is a method of instruction that has students working together in groups, usually with the goal of completing a specific task. This method can help students develop leadership skills and the ability to work with others as a team. However, gifted students are often placed in groups with non-gifted children, sometimes with the goal of having the gifted student help the others, either directly or by example. In these instances, the gifted student is not likely to learn anything new, while the non-gifted students are not likely to develop any leadership skills. Cooperative learning can be a problem for introverts whose learning style is more independent and who prefer to work alone.</li></ul>Create the right type of group for the need. Sometimes an occasional informal ad hoc group is needed, such as pair and share. Base groups are formed for long-term social and interpersonal support. Formal learning groups are used when a commitment of time and effort is required. <br />Keep group size small. Ideally, learning groups include no more than four students. Base groups may be larger, up to six students.<br />Use ability grouping sparingly. Students across the spectrum of abilities benefit by heterogeneous grouping, especially low-ability students.<br />Don't use cooperative learning for all instructional goals. While cooperative learning is a powerful strategy, it can be overused, or misapplied. Students need time to investigate ideas and pursue interests on their own. <br />Use a variety of strategies when choosing students for groups. Many selection strategies (common clothing, favorite colors, letters in names, birthdays) will work when attempting to randomly group students. <br />Facilitate success. Develop organizational tools, forms, learning journals, and other structuring documents that foster the smooth processes needed for effective cooperation and group work. Use online tools for ubiquitous access to forms.<br />Support new groups. Cooperative learning is a practiced skill that requires monitoring and adjustment. Teach specific skills before grouping students, define criteria for success, and develop rubrics for key expectations. Meet with new group members to support their success. <br />Positive Interdependence <br />This means the group has a clear task or goal so everyone knows they sink or swim together. The efforts of each person benefit not only that individual, but everyone else in the group. The key to positive interdependence is having commitments made to personal success as well as the success of every member of the group.<br />Individual and Group Accountability <br />The group is accountable for achieving its goals, and each member must be accountable for contributing a fair share of the work toward the group goal. No one can "hitchhike" on the work of others. The performance of each individual must be assessed and the results given back to the group.<br />Interpersonal and Small-Group Skills <br />Interpersonal and small group skills are required to function as part of a group. These are basic teamwork skills. Group members must know how to -- and be motivated to -- provide effective leadership, make decisions, build trust, communicate, and manage conflict. <br />Note: If you feel that you need some help building the skills necessary for cooperative learning, you may want to complete the iStudy for Success modules listed below.   For more information on how to access these modules, go to the iStudy Web site<br />Active Listening <br />Brainstorming skills <br />Problem solving skills <br />Conflict Management skills <br />Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction <br />This means that students promote each other's success by sharing resources. They help, support, encourage, and praise each other's efforts to learn. Both academic and personal support are part of this mutual goal.  <br />Group Processing <br />Group members need to feel free to communicate openly with each other to express concerns as well as to celebrate accomplishments. They should discuss how well they are achieving their goals and maintaining effective working relationships.<br />To help you understand cooperative learning a little better, here are some ideas and activities that could help team members develop better skills in each of the areas listed above: <br />Ways To Ensure Positive Interdependence: <br />the group has only one pencil, paper, book, or other resource <br />one paper is written by the group <br />a task is divided into jobs and can't be finished unless all help <br />pass one paper around the group on which each member must write a section <br />jigsaw - each person learns a topic and then teaches it to the group <br />a reward (e.g. bonus points) if everyone in the group succeeds <br />Ways To Ensure Individual Accountability: <br />students do the work before bringing it to the group <br />one student is chosen at random and questioned on the material the group has studied <br />everyone writes a paper; the group certifies the accuracy of all their papers; the instructor chooses only one paper to grade <br />students receive bonus points if all do well individually <br />instructor observes students taking turns orally rehearsing information <br />Ways To Ensure Interpersonal and Small-Group Skills: <br />be on time for group meetings and start them on time <br />listen to others. Don't be so busy rehearsing what you are going to say that you miss other group members' points and ideas <br />don't close the road to mutual learning by interrupting or using language that can be regarded as a personal attack <br />make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak <br />don't suppress conflict, but do control and discipline it <br />Ways To Ensure Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction: <br />a student orally explains how to solve a problem <br />one group member discusses a concept with others <br />a group member teaches classmates about a topic <br />students help each other connect present and past learning <br />Ways To Ensure Group Processing: <br />group members describe each other's helpful and unhelpful behaviors and actions <br />as a group, make decisions about which behaviors to continue and which behaviors to change <br />Additional Elements of Effective Groups <br />Although team dynamics (how the individual team members work together) can differ from team to team, effective teams also share the following characteristics (modified from Bodwell 1996, 1999): <br />Full Participation -All team members contribute their time and energy to the project. More importantly, all team members participate in the decision making process. <br />Trust -Members trust that each member will add value to the project, and members work to ensure that everybody does contribute and appreciation is expressed for different contributions. <br />Open Communication -The main glue that holds a team together. Communication is effective when all members: <br />contribute ideas <br />provide feedback constructively <br />ask for clarification on anything that might be confusing <br />provide frequent updates <br />listen to each other carefully <br />Social/Business Balance -Although teams shouldn't socialize 100% of the time, it shouldn't be all business either. Casual conversation allows members to know each other better, leading to better working relations. <br />Additional Benefits of Cooperative Learning <br />Here are some additional benefits of cooperative learning.   Did you think of any of these? <br />When students are working toward a common goal, academic work becomes an activity valued by peers. <br />Students are motivated to help one another learn. <br />Students are able to translate the teacher's language into "student language" for one another. <br />Students who explain to one another strengthen their own learning. <br />When students have to organize their thoughts to explain ideas to teammates, they must engage in thinking that builds on other ideas (cognitive elaboration) which greatly enhances their own understanding. <br />Teammates can provide individual attention and assistance to one another. <br />Regular and constructive collaborative study groups can assist you with mastery of material, exam preparation, and better performance on tests. <br />The following page contains more resources regarding the benefits of cooperative learning. <br />