Problems in education have no fixed answers. No teacher education program can prepare teachers for all the situations they will encounter. Teachers themselves will make the final decisions from among many alternatives. Such judgments may be good or poor. Therefore, it is important for teachers to constantly reevaluate their decisions. This can be achieved through collaborative and reflective practices in teacher education. Co-operative learning in teacher education can instill in future teachers the value of social interactions. Reflection improves a teacher’s ability to make appropriate and sound judgments and, therefore, become an empowered decision-maker.


What is Cooperative Learning?

Cooperative or collaborative learning is a team process where members support and rely on each other to achieve an agreed- upon goal.  The classroom is an excellent place to develop team- building skills you will need later in life.

Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it.

Cooperative / collaborative learning is interactive; as a team member, the student teacher (a) Develops and shares a common goal

(b)Contributes his/her understanding of the problem: questions; insights and solutions   (c)Responds to, and works to understand, others’ questions, insights and solutions  (d)Empowers the other to speak and contribute, and to consider their contributions   Is accountable to others, and they are accountable to  him/her  Is dependent on others, and they depend on him/her

Elements of Cooperative Learning :

The conditions/elements that will ensure more productive than competitive and individualistic efforts are:

  1. Positive Interdependence-Each group member’s efforts are required and indispensable for group success

Each group member has a unique contribution to make to the joint effort because of his or her resources and/or role and task responsibilities

  1. Face-to-Face Interaction

Orally explaining how to solve problems

Teaching one’s knowledge to other

Checking for understanding

Discussing concepts being learned

Connecting present with past learning

  1. 3Individual and Group Accountability;

(a)Keeping the size of the group small. The smaller the size of the group, the greater the individual accountability may be.

(b)Giving an individual test to each student.   Randomly examining students orally by calling on one student to present his or her group’s work to the teacher (in the presence of the group) or to the entire class.

(c)Observing each group and recording the frequency with which each member-contributes to the group’s work.

(d)Assigning one student in each group the role of checker. The checker asks other group members to explain the reasoning and rationale underlying group answers.   Having students teach what they learned to someone else.

  1. Interpersonal and Small-Group Skills: Social skills must be taught; Leadership; Decision-making; Trust-building; Communication; Conflict-management skills
  1. Group Processing:- Group members discuss how well they are achieving their goals and maintaining effective working relationships Describe what member actions are helpful and not helpful

Why use Cooperative Learning?

Research has shown that cooperative learning techniques:

Promote student learning and academic achievement

Increase student retention

Enhance student satisfaction with their learning experience

Help students develop skills in oral communication

Develop students’ social skills

Promote student self-esteem

Help to promote positive race relations

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