Is CL compatible with conventional curricula and systems of classroom management? This article may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author’s name). The group may be a basketball team, a company, or, in its most dangerous incarnation, an entire country. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. A. Maher. These structures involve five key elements which can be implemented in a variety of ways. Advocates of CL need to grapple with these aspects of cooperation in the classroom and understand how they may be unsettling to many teachers. But there are obstacles to the successful adoption of CL that are peculiar to this way of structuring a classroom — features that would likely cause problems even if trainings were perfection itself. Radical comes from the Latin word for “roots.”. 89).[4]. Students must work in groups to complete tasks collectively toward academic goals. Cooperative learning also builds an ethnic relation among students creating mutual understanding between them. After the reign of Dick and Jane. (1989). Phi Delta Kappan, March, 496-506. (1990). …Education can never merely be for the sake of individual self-enhancement. Cambridge, Mass. For Freudians, humans are antisocial by instinct and driven principally by intrapsychic forces; for behaviorists, the laws of learning pertain to the individual organism as it responds to the contingencies of its environment; for humanists, the summum bonum is self-actualization; for developmentalists, maturity and health are typically equated with autonomy and individuation; and so on. It is not simply the status quo except in groups. Finally, there is the question of competition — a matter worth considering at some length. (1979). Competition typically reduces or retards perspective taking, empathy, and generosity (Barnett and Bryan, 1974; Barnett, Matthews, and Corbin, 1979; Feshbach, 1978; Lanzetta and Englis, 1989; Rutherford and Mussen, 1968; Tjosvold, 1983; Tjosvold et al., 1984). In the 1970s they were busy failing at putting them into practice.”  Those two sentences by Michael Fullan (1982, p. 5) will produce in many of us an unpleasant little twinge of recognition, particularly since this pattern of failing to implement reforms successfully did not end with the 1970s. The Good Society. Rich’s analysis not only draws out the implication of devaluing social goals, but also reminds us of a fundamental truth:  Policy makers, trainers, and theorists cannot change what goes on in classrooms. Purpose of Study This study examined the effectiveness of individual learning versus collaborative learning in enhancing drill-and-practice skills and critical-thinking skills. How Asian teachers polish each lesson to perfection. A sociological critique of individualism in education. (1991). — Dave, a 14-year-old student (quoted in Dunn, Rudduck, and Cowie, 1989). Abstract The literature review will include the development of cooperative learning (CL) and in-depth review on one of its derived teaching strategies, Student Team Achievement Division (STAD). (1987). The potentially threatening features of CL identified in the previous section may help to explain some of these differences. Like the conversation between a teacher and a pupil, a situation in which “teachers instruct pupils to talk to each other,” specifying what and when and how they may talk, leaves the teacher in control. Graves, N.B. [7]  (By way of analogy, consider the distinction between teaching children about religion and indoctrinating them to be religious.) Moreover, children may not like it. (1985). The first is to turn cooperative activities into group competitions; the second is to have students compete individually when they are not engaged in cooperative activities. This is, however, comparing apples to oranges. From a distance, those who promote cooperation in the classroom seem distinguished principally by this commitment, particularly when contrasted with the rest of the education field. H.C. Sharan, S.  (1986). It is disappointing when, instead of following their instincts, experience, and data to the logical conclusion, they continue to make use of competitive classroom activities — either alongside CL or as a framework in which to fit CL. The extent of “on-task” behavior in a classroom tells us at least as much about the teacher as about the students. But because CL, correctly understood, requires a radical reconceptualization of what learning involves and how the people who spend the day together in a classroom relate to each other, a host of problems and questions inexorably appear. When students in American schools are not separated from each other — and sometimes even when they are — they are set against each other, told in effect that their success comes at the price of someone else’s failure and vice versa. Some proponents take pride in the fact that CL is “easy to sell to teachers because it doesn’t make them change that much of what they do.”  Unfortunately, this sales job “sells short both teachers and the process and potential of cooperative learning” (Sapon-Shevin and Schniedewind, 1989/1990, p. 65; also see Sapon-Shevin, 1991). But the premise of this approach is the belief that the disadvantages of competition derive from its being overused or badly implemented. Bellah, R.N., R. Madsen, W.M. There is much more to cooperative learning than merely arranging students into groups, and it has been described as "structuring positive interdependence." Prior to the rise of Constructivism, teachers would teach using a behaviorist approach: we would hammer ideas into students’ heads by getting them to repeat answers over and over again. Finally, cooperation does not imply harmony. Psychological Reports 53: 851-857. But the processes of coming to look upon one’s peers as potential collaborators, of learning to accept those who are different from oneself, and of developing perspective-taking skills and a prosocial orientation more generally are valuable things in their own right. It would be far more remarkable if it did not encounter resistance on a wide scale. The idea of cooperative learning has been around for decades, but it never got to the same prominence as blended learning or differentiated instruction.. Building Cooperative Societies: A Curriculum Guide for Grades 6-9 on Social and Economic Cooperation. Cooperative learning, cooperative visions. (1989/1990). There are also different types of cooperative groups appropriate for different situations. For example, socio-constructivists borrow Piaget’s system of developmental stages describing children’s cognitive progress, as well as Does the use of CL, per se, really serve to challenge an individualist world view, though? Developmental Psychology 10: 838-842. : Harvard University Press. The point of this is to stimulate discussion and reflection so that all those with an interest in promoting cooperation in the classroom can work together to address troubling questions about what that cooperation should look like and what its ultimate goal should be. American Educator. Individualism has its costs. One consequence of inadequate training in CL, then, is its failure to address specific questions and problems that appear only after implementation. (1977). (For an engaging introduction intended for non-specialists, see Gursky [1991].) Creative Commons license unless otherwise noted below. Corbin. Further, they might minimize interaction by employing versions of CL in which students learn on their own and are tested on their own but simply check each other’s work in between. and J.H. 1. The second feature of CL identified as potentially discordant with teachers’ values is its emphasis on social goals. For curriculum guides that not only suggest the use of CL but make cooperation and competition topics for study, see Schniedewind and Davidson (1987) and Hierta (1984). In human societies the individuals who are most likely to survive are those who are best enabled to do so by their group. Is competition justified by virtue of there being value in learning that we cannot always be successful in obtaining what we seek? (1990). Such a message is mixed at best and exceedingly damaging at worst. The teacher now has allies throughout the room — a scenario exciting and refreshing to some educators but highly disconcerting to those who, like trial attorneys during cross examination, never ask a question to which they do not already know the answer.[3]. Using Student Team Learning. According to Vygotsky (1978), much important learning by the child occurs through social interaction with a skillful tutor. By the time teachers have enough experience to know what problems they need help with, however, the consultant is long gone. The question we might ask, in other words, is:  What profit is there to gaining converts to a reform if we have lost the soul of that reform in the process? This may occur through the use of manipulative behavior management strategies (e.g., “I like the way Joanne is sitting so nice and quiet”) or through the conventional arrangement of asking a question of the whole class. Quick Overview:Students learn through thinking things through and trial-and-error, not by simply repeating facts. It is no longer all about "telling them as much as possible about X." This is the social dimension of the cult of individualism — the cult of ‘chumminess'” (Hargreaves, 1980, p. 197). CL DEMANDS ATTENTION TO SOCIAL GOALS. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 56 (4): 543-554. The relevant question is not whether conflict will occur when people are playing with ideas or struggling to make decisions together:  It will and it should. In fact, either version may defeat our best efforts to promote cooperation in the classroom, sending conflicting messages in the process and undoing much of what we have managed to achieve by the use of CL. Tickwell, England: Education NOW Books. (“OK, kids, it’s the third Friday of the month. New learning strategies, or perhaps the way these strategies are introduced, still lead some educators to react much as a body does to the implantation of foreign tissue. Competition signifies mutually exclusive goal attainment, an arrangement in which one person succeeds only if others fail — or, in the stronger variety, only by actively making others fail. Berman, P. and M.W. Individual teachers may sometimes decide to turn a cooperative learning experience into an intergroup competition, but the best-known packaged model requiring groups to compete against each other is Teams-Games-Tournament, devised by Robert Slavin and his colleagues. Educational Foundations 5 (1991): 5-17. 1991, pp. It has been estimated, for example, that only five to 10 percent of participants in a CL workshop will continue to use the cooperative approach over time if ongoing coaching and support are absent (Male, 1989). 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