Module 8: Cooperative Learning
Cooperative learning - more than just group work
Cooperative forms of work are often neglected in the classroom for practical reasons. Whether feared difficulties such as agitation, difficulty or uncertain learning success actually occur depends on the design of social forms of work. Cooperative learning is not reached just by pupils working out tasks in groups. The assignments must be designed so that cooperation is useful and teamwork is conducive for pupils' learning.
Development of social skills
The social integration through cooperation plays an important role for the motivation of learning. Cooperation provides the basis for the feeling of being involved in a community and use the individual abilities in a beneficial manner.
Cooperative forms of work lead the pupils to
- express thoughts in clear language
- accept other perspectives
- deal with conflicting views and judgements.
Cooperative learning in the classroom
On the following pages you will find concrete tips and suggestions on how to successfully implement cooperative learning in the classroom.
Here you can find more material for in-depth information:
T. Leuders, Explanations for Module 8 - Developing of tasks for the co-operation of pupils (pdf)
On the website of InTime (Integrating New Technologies In to the Methods of Education) you will find general information and a large collection of educational videos. The recordings are authentic and they can be the basis for discussions in the context of teacher training.
The website "Concept to Classroom" offers a workshop on the topic "Cooperative and Collaborative Learning".
Concept to Classroom is an online series of FREE, award-winning professional development workshops covering important and timely topics in education. The workshops are intended for teachers, administrators, librarians, or anyone interested in education.
The website "Collaborative Learning" gives you a lot of information on the entire cluster of topics.
Johnson, D., Johnson, R. (1999). Learning together and alone: cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning. Boston: Allyn and Bacon
Slavin, R. E. (1990) Cooperative Learning: Theory, Research and Practice Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon
Slavin, Robert E., Synthesis of Research on Cooperative Learning Educational Leadership; Feb 1991; 48, 5; Academic Research Library pg. 71 (pdf)