Education Research-Based Cooperative Learning Literature Review Good Research Paper

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Research-based Cooperative Learning Literature Review

Good writing skills are critical for today's students to be successful. Most teachers would agree that communication is pretty important in education. In fact, it's a necessary component of education, livelihood, and basic functionality in our society. it's also fairly obvious that there are two main ways to communicate, although more obscure forms exist. Basically, we talk and we write. That's how we let other people know what's going on, and it's an important skill to have. Unfortunately there are many students who do not write well and could really use work on their skills in order to get better.

Writing skills help a student attain self-determination, clarity, fluency and creativity in writing. If students master these skills, they will be able to write so that not only they can read what they have written, but other people can read and understand it too. Some students have outstanding writing skills while others struggle to get anything down on paper. Teachers often use cooperative learning techniques in order to try and help their students that struggle in the writing process so that they can improve upon it and become better students overall.

Cooperative Learning

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Cooperative learning is the instructional use of small groups so students work together to make the most of their own and each other's learning. It is important, thus, that educators understand the different approaches to implementing it. These approaches may be placed on a range with conceptual applications at one end and direct applications at the other. The conceptual approach requires teachers to learn both a conceptual understanding of cooperative learning including its nature and essential components and the skills to use that understanding to plan and teach cooperative learning lessons strategies, and curriculum units uniquely tailored to specific students and circumstances. Each teacher faces a multifaceted and unique mixture of circumstances, students, and needs and, therefore, cooperative learning needs to be tailored and refined to exceptionally fit each teacher's situations (Implementing cooperative learning, 1993).

TOPIC: Research Paper on Education Research-Based Cooperative Learning Literature Review Good Assignment

The conceptual approach requires teachers to learn a conceptual understanding of cooperative learning, its nature and essential components, and the skills to use that understanding to plan and teach cooperative learning lessons strategies, and curriculum units uniquely tailored to specific students and circumstances. Each teacher faces a complex and unique combination of circumstances, students, and needs and, therefore, cooperative learning needs to be adapted and refined to uniquely fit each teacher's situations. Understanding the necessary basics allows teachers to think meta-cognitively about cooperative learning and generate any number of strategies and lessons. The objective of the conceptual approach is to develop teacher knowledge in cooperative learning so teachers can:

"Take any lesson in any subject area and structure it cooperatively

Practice cooperative learning until they are at a routine/integrated level of use and implement cooperative learning at least 60% of the time in their classrooms

Describe precisely what they are doing and why in order to communicate to others the nature of cooperative learning and teach them how to implement it in their classrooms and settings" (Implementing cooperative learning, 1993).

For an educational strategy derided by some as a fad, cooperative learning has a surprisingly old history. In one form or another, students learning from and teaching each other have been a part of respected educational practices for thousands of years, as far back as the ancient Romans. The advantages of collective effort seem so obvious, and the evidence in its favor so consistent and well-documented, it is striking that collaborative learning is not more widely used in this country. Cooperative methods stress interpersonal interactions as a powerful force for learning. And when viewed in light of the skills necessary for jobs in the future economy, cooperative learning seems even more appropriate: teamwork, problem-solving, and the ability to successfully manage diversity are all fostered by the collective efforts that arise out of cooperation (Strommen, 1995).

There are five conditions that must be met in order for a cooperative learning effort to be more productive than competitive or individualistic methods:

1. Clearly perceived positive interdependence

2. Considerable face-to-race interaction

3. Clearly perceived individual accountability and personal responsibility to achieve the group's goals

4. Frequent use of the relevant interpersonal and small-group skills

5. Frequent and regular group processing of current functioning to improve the group's future effectiveness (Johnson & Johnson, 1994)

Without these five conditions, the environment is not conducive to a cooperative learning experience (Woods & Chen, 2010).

Some have found that vertical cooperative learning is desirable between elementary and secondary school teachers. It is thought that this helps the move between grades and subjects, especially for those students who struggle. In the end it is up to school principals to make sure that cooperative learning practices are in place and being used. In a study done by Nagel (2008) the author drew upon prior experience, to show that pre-service social studies majors at the secondary level should practice cooperative learning strategies that comprise rallytables, round tables, and talking chips prior to teaching. By modeling cooperative learning strategies, pre-service teachers are exposed to the five necessary elements of cooperative learning that embrace positive interdependence; face-to-face interaction; individual and group accountability; interpersonal skills; and group processing.

Cooperative learning has repeatedly been used in language classrooms, from in-class task-based group work to group presentations. Research has found that cooperative learning provides shared support, as well as victorious and effective learning outcomes of tasks. Since learning is strongly related to strategies or approaches adopted to facilitate one's understanding and manufacture of the target language, the purposes of the present study were to examine the use and influence of learner strategies in cooperative and individual learning, and the benefits of cooperative learning in improving students' speaking abilities (Chou, 2011).

Cooperative learning is used to augment student achievement, generate more positive associations among students, and in general improve students' psychological well-being. Using it in the classroom affects teachers' feelings and competencies concerning working together with colleagues. Teachers characteristically cannot endorse isolation and rivalry among students all day and be collaborative with colleagues. What is endorsed in the instructional situations tends to govern relationships amongst staff members (Implementing cooperative learning, 1993).

In the cooperative learning model, students work together toward a common goal. Research has clearly shown that cooperation results in higher levels of achievement. Although students may be a part of a cooperative learning environment, they are also responsible for their own individual achievement. This makes student evaluations a challenge because one is evaluating individual as well as team effort (Woods & Chen, 2010). It is important for teachers to understand that there is a difference and know how to balance these for the good of the students.

Teaching Methods

Some teachers implement theories and curricular frameworks that they learn in teacher education and professional development programs to assist their students' critical thinking and understanding of history. The Teaching for Understanding framework is one curricular model that can aid teachers, who are frequently overwhelmed by the range of the curriculum, to center on aligning their curricular goals with student performances and genuine forms of evaluation and teaching for both extent and intensity (Dicamillo, 2009).

Teaching for understanding is a term commonly used by education reformers. The TFU model is based on the conception that understanding is a matter of being able to do a variety of thought demanding things with a topic-like explaining, finding evidence and examples, generalizing, applying, analogizing, and representing the topic in a new way. In contrast to routine thought and action, understanding is shown when students can think and act flexibly with knowledge (Dicamillo, 2009).

Feedback on student work in the peer review process can allow for teacher-guided, directed comment. This kind of hands-on, student-centered learning allows for reflection of one's own work by looking at the work of others. This can lead to students learning about the accountability for and power of their own learning. In this collaborative exchange, students apply critical thinking to their writing by constructively engaging in methods of question and reflection with the group (Berridge, 2009).

Studies have shown that high school social studies teachers can have their students view local history topics and share their findings by producing Web pages, using a cooperative learning arrangement. There is a need to reorganize how technology is being used in the social studies classroom; in particular, by having students share their local history findings with others outside the walls of the classroom rather than being passive learners with the Internet (Scheuerell, 2010). This is a good example of how cooperative learning techniques are being adapted to include advancing technology so that students have an even better shot of succeeding in school.

Increasingly, it is important to help today's students become more skilled at interacting with their peers. The 21st Century Skills Framework identifies communication and collaboration as two key outcomes for American students. The organization that sponsors the framework recognizes the need for schools to produce a generation of Americans who can excel at… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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