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The Effects of Cooperative Learning in a Classroom Setting

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The Effects of Cooperative Learning in a Classroom Setting

Cooperative learning is one of best teaching strategies that an educator can use with their students. Results from studies have shown that cooperative learning strategies have given students opportunities to grow as individuals. They have learned faster and more efficiently, have greater retention, and have a positive outlook on learning. It is a way for students to learn and develop good social skills and help promote self-esteem.

As a teacher of the future, I believe that knowing the effects of such a strategy is beneficial to better myself as an educator. I believe that in today’s classroom with student at different learning levels cooperative learning needs to be used so that every student has a fair advantage in the classroom and a fair chance to learn material at their learning level. One reason to use cooperative learning is to help meet the needs to lower performing students, including students with IEP’s.

Cooperative learning touches on all aspects of the learning curve and allows everyone to contribute. Each member of the group is responsible not only for learning what is taught, but also for helping group members learn, thus creating an atmosphere for achievement and a sense of accomplishment. A student feels successful because they completed an assignment within a group that gave assistance in areas they are weak in, and yet they feel satisfied with what the group has done. This I feel is the best quality of cooperative learning and working in groups.

After reviewing the article Cooperative Learning in Elementary Classrooms: Teaching Practices and Lesson Characteristics by Emmer and Gerwels, it discusses how cooperative learning changes the structure of classroom activities and the roles of teachers and students. The class organizations changes to a multigroup setting, the teacher’s role is reduced and the student’s role shifts towards that of group participant and decisions maker.

Through observation and interviews of 18 teachers and their classes in seven elementary schools in southwestern United States they studied activities, content, format, academic tasks, cognitive levels, resources, accountability, student performance, group work and cooperation, student behavior, teaching

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