Students of the 21st century need to acquire intellectual capabilities and the abilities to perform effectively in an environment that requires working with others to achieve a variety of tasks. By using cooperative learning, teachers help students lay the foundation to succeed in a world that relies on cooperation. For this to happen it is important to have positive interdependence and individual accountability.
Positive interdependence emphasizes that everyone is in the effort together and that one person’s success does not come at the expense of another’s success. It is important that teachers ensure that the work of each member of the group is significant to the success of the task. Individual accountability refers to the need for each member of the team to receive feedback on his or her own efforts contribute to the achievement of the goal.
Cooperative learning permits that students interact in ways that they can enhance and deepen their learning. Students can reflect on the acquired knowledge by talking with and listening to their classmates. It also increases motivation for learning because it encourages responsibility, can improve cognitive and social skills, such as academic engagement, self-esteem, attitudes toward school, and strong kinship with peers.
Some recommendations to use cooperative learning are:
Include elements of positive interdependence and individual accountability: students are able to interact on a deep level. By using this strategy, students are responsible of their own learning, the learning of the members in their group, and the ability to demonstrate what they know, understand, and are able to do.
Keep group size small: in order to have a more successful group work, groups’ size should be ...
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... telling them that everyone is responsible for his or her own learning. Give roles to each member of the group that will help accomplish the task.
2. Teachers can use formative and summative assessments to determine students’ contributions to the group goal.
3. Cooperative learning increases motivation for learning because students establish a sense of obligation to one another and a strong kinship with their peers that leads to greater motivation and increased achievement.
1. How can lower grades apply the cooperative learning strategy? What activities can be done to apply the strategies in K to 3rd grade?
2. How can we integrate students that do not have the social skills to work in groups?
I loved the idea to assign students to groups randomly or based on a variety of criteria (interests, birth month, colors they are wearing, etc.)