3What is genuine cooperative learning? Johnson and Johnson (2000, 2005) define them as the following:P Positive interdependenceI Individual accountabilityG Group and individual reflectionS Small group skillsF Face-to-face interactionCheck and coach on key elements with handout
4Benefits of CLThree main categories of advantages (Johnson & Johnson, 1999; Slavin, 1995, 1996; Sharan, 1990; Cohen and Lotan 1995; Kyndt et al, 2013):1. Higher academic achievement2. Enhanced inter-personal relationshipsGreater psychological health and socialcompetencePromotes achievement gains for allStatus and learning of low-status pupils can be enhancedPupils in Year 7 learning mathematics:Substantial research (over 550 studies identified by Johnson & Johnson) to show three main benefits:AchievementHigher achievement; more higher level reasoning; greater transfer of what is learned; more time on task.2. Inter-personal relationshipsDeveloping caring and committed relationships; greater sense of belonging and mutual support3. Psychological health and social competenceHigher self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth, willingness to share problems and increased resilience and ability to cope with adversity and stress
5So why is it not more commonly used? We are not born cooperative – we have to learn the skills of cooperating
6Teaching the skills‘The teacher must establish the will and the skill to co-operate.’ (Kagan, 1994)Establish the need for the skillDefining the skillGuided PracticeProvide time for group reflection of progressGeneralised application of the skillImportance of developing the will and the skill to cooperateOne of the keys was the impact of teaching the skills of cooperatingsummary
7Teachers need support too! Cooperative learning in the classroom requires cooperative learning in the staffroom!
8Tom’s storyTom is in his second year of high school. He has an intellectual disability, and although he could participate in most activities, he had difficulties organising his routines, such as locating the books he needed and understanding instructions. It was not long before his teachers realised that unless they acted, he would always be late for lessons and unfortunately, the target of peer ridicule and jokes. Tom was sociable and well liked by his peers because of his easy-going manner, so his teachers arranged for him to be included in various cooperative learning groups that they established in their classes. (Gillies, 2007, p. 3)
9So what happened to Tom?his teachers arranged for him to be included in various cooperative learning groups that they established in their classes
10This enabled Tom to work in small supportive groups in which he could take risks with his learning. His peers encouraged his participation and ensured, like others in his groups, that he undertook specific roles. These included helping organise resources, present his ideas on a topic through different media, and work with his peers to complete the activity they were working on. This enhanced Tom’s self-confidence and increased his status among his peers as they realised he was able to make worthwhile contributions to his group.
11Five Key Steps to Implementing Cooperative Learning 1. Establish class cohesionCarry out team building activitiesTeach conflict resolution skillsTeaching the skills of working cooperativelyIncorporate cooperative learning into lessons beginning with partner work
12Supporting initial teacher training I put them in mixed ability teams….. they worked so well together. And, actually, on a lot of the problems, where it changed from the expected …, it was the lower ability children that could actually rethink it in a new way and were explaining it to the higher ability.….Amazing. Sadly… It worked really well and they worked together. And if they got it, if that person there got it, they had to explain it to the other children, and they all had to know it before we moved on, and then they had to have their answer ready. I think they wrote it down or held it up. I can’t remember. But the team had to decide on the answer, so they had to debate it and discuss it and they had to all agree, which meant they all had to understand. … But then we continued… I think we continued after break – we said, “Right. This is going really well. We’ve gone through half of it. We’ll finish the…” We presented it as a quiz – so the second part. But the teacher said, “No. I’d like them back in the groups. They have to do it back in their ability groups.” Well, I had children in tears. I had…We discussed it as a class and we came to the conclusion that we would do it back in the original teams. We put them back in the mixed ability teams, which was…Interviewer: a revelation to the teacher?they need those skills even more to appreciate and to build the tolerance of others… that everybody has a role to play and that’s the best way I think through CL that you can do it. At the end of the day there aren’t many jobs are there were you don’t have to work cooperatively with others so why do we educate everybody to be individual?
13In conclusionResearch evidence demonstrates the impact of working cooperativelyImportance of explicitly teaching the skills to cooperateImplement using a phased approachCo-operative learning in the classroom requires cooperative learning in the staffroom!Wendy JolliffeDoughnut