This 10 page paper provides a description of cooperative learning, a model that has been accepted as an exceptionally effective teaching methodology since the mid-1960s. Elements and goals of this instructional methodology are included as is some of the research validating this method as effective. For example, research consistently concludes that students in cooperative learning classrooms achieve higher academic test scores, higher self-esteem, learn more positive social skills, hold fewer stereotypes of individuals of other races or ethnic groups, and gain greater comprehension of the content and skills being studied. The writer also discusses why and how cooperative learning is also an exceptional classroom management technique. Bibliography lists 9 sources.
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(Johnson, Johnson and Stanne, 2000). Johnson and Johnson, who were at the forefront of introducing cooperative learning, commented that how students perceive each other and interact with each other is
an aspect of classroom instruction that is largely ignored (2000). This is an essential component in the learning process for students. Cooperative learning classrooms address this factor. The goals of
cooperative learning are: 1.) to have students assume leadership; 2.) to have students participate equally and actively in the group process; 3.) to foster academic cooperation among
students; 4.) to encourage positive group interactions; 5.) to increase academic achievement; 6.) to enhance the development of self-esteem; 7.) to develop complex thinking skills (Johnson
and Johnson, 1993; McCabe and Rhodes, 1993; Dishon and OLeary, 1993). The cooperative learning process incorporates the use of both interpersonal and group skills (Johnson and Johnson, 2000). To do
so requires students learn interpersonal skills, such as communication and problem solving and it also requires students to trust and help each other (Johnson and Johnson, 2000). These and the
other skills needed to participate in small groups successfully are not innate, they must be taught (Johnson and Johnson, 2000). Taking the time to teach students the necessary social and
personal interaction skills will reap great benefits in the classroom in many ways, including having fewer social problems. Hundreds of studies have focused on the effects of cooperative learning
in all different subject areas (Johnson and Johnson, 1993). For example, McManus and Gettinger investigated both student and teacher evaluations of cooperative learning in three areas: academic, social and attitude.
Positive results were found in both teachers and students in all three arenas. Students rated the academic benefits the highest and teachers rated the social benefits the highest which was