Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What is Cooperative Learning?

Cooperative Learning is an approach to teaching that makes maximum use of cooperative activities involving pairs and small groups of learners in the classroom. In a cooperative learning classroom, students work together on academic tasks in small groups to help themselves and their teammates learn together. They use cooperative, pro-social behavior to accomplish their common tasks or learning activities. Cooperation is working together to accomplish shared goals. Within cooperative activities individuals seek outcomes that are beneficial to themselves and beneficial to all other group members. Cooperative learning is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning.
The idea is simple. Class members are organized into small groups after receiving instruction from the teacher. Then, they work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it. Cooperative efforts result in participants striving for mutual benefit so that all group members gain from each other’s efforts. Students come to realize that all group members share one goal, know that one’s performance is mutually caused by oneself and their group members, and feel proud and jointly celebrate when the group members are recognized for achievement.

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