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Cooperative Learning
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Cooperative Learning
Integrating Theory and Practice



March 2007 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"Gilles focuses the majority of the book on the relationship in the classroom between the individual teacher and the students. She gives teachers ammunition to overcome resistance to cooperative learning by presenting well-substantiated research on virtually every page of her book showing the benefits of having students study together." 

                                                                                                          —Ted Wohlfarth, PSYCCRITIQUES

"This text's greatest strengths are bringing together a range of powerful teaching strategies connected to students taking responsibility for their own learning and the learning of others. The focus on both teacher strategies to encourage effective group talk and student strategies to encourage effective discourse is helpful."

Nancy L. Markowitz, San Jose State University

Although cooperative learning is widely endorsed as a pedagogical practice that promotes learning and socialization among students, teachers still struggle with how to introduce it into their classrooms. This text highlights the strategies teachers can use to challenge student thinking and scaffold their learning as well as the strategies students can be taught to promote discourse, problem—solving, and learning during cooperative learning.

Key Features

  • Presents cooperative learning in conjunction with national standards: The book situates cooperative learning within the context of No Child Left Behind and a climate of high stakes testing.
  • Links theory with practice: Numerous case studies and small group exercises highlight how teachers can assess both the process and outcomes of cooperative learning.
  • Emphasizes the key role teachers play in establishing cooperative learning: Guidelines are given on how teachers can establish cooperative learning in their classrooms to promote student engagement and learning across various levels and for students of diverse abilities.
  • Incorporates the latest research on cooperative learning: An overview is provided of the major research and theoretical perspectives that underpin the development of cooperative learning pedagogy.

Intended Audience

This is an excellent supplementary text for several undergraduate and graduate level K—12 teacher preparation and certification courses regularly offered in schools of education. It can also be used as one of several texts in courses on cooperative learning and as a supplement in K—12 teaching methods courses.

Talk to the author! r.gillies@uq.edu.au  


 
1. Cooperative Learning In Schools
Introduction and Learning Objectives

 
Case Study: The Case of Tom

 
Introducing Cooperative Learning

 
Group Task

 
Grouping Practices

 
Promoting Student Discourse

 
Cooperative Learning Pedagogy in the Classroom: Teacher’s Role

 
Effective or Expert Teachers

 
The Impact of Mandatory Testing On Cooperative Learning

 
Specific Requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Law

 
Why Test?

 
What Happened?

 
Teachers’ Perceptions of Mandatory Testing

 
The Case Against Testing

 
Is Mandated Testing Working?

 
The Potential to Transform Schools: Using Cooperative Learning Pedagogy

 
Case Study: Transforming a School: A Principal’s Story

 
School-Wide Cooperative Learning

 
Teachers Reported Satisfaction with Cooperative Learning

 
A Comprehensive School Reform Model

 
Structure and Content: Overview of the Chapters That Follow

 
Chapter Summary

 
Practical Activities

 
 
2. Key Components in Establishing Successful Cooperative Groups
Introduction and Learning Objectives

 
Case Study: An Example of Cooperative Learning in a First Grade Classroom

 
Cooperative Learning

 
Positive Interdependence

 
Practical Activity: Ways of Structuring Positive Interdependence

 
Promotive Interaction

 
Practical Activity: Ways of Promoting Interaction

 
Individual Accountability

 
Practical Activity: Ways of Ensuring Individual Accountability

 
Interpersonal and Small Group Skills

 
Practical Activity: Ways of Ensuring that Children Learn Interpersonal and Small Group Skills

 
Group Processing

 
Practical Activity: Ideas for Group Processing

 
How Long Should Students Work In Cooperative Groups?

 
Five Key Components for Structuring Cooperative Learning Groups

 
Bringing It All Together: Understanding the Research

 
Low-Ability Children

 
Affective Development

 
What is Cooperative Learning?

 
The Role of the Teacher in Establishing Cooperative Learning

 
Chapter Summary

 
Practical Activities

 
 
3. Teachers’ Discourse to Promote Student Thinking and Learning
Introduction and Learning Objectives

 
Case Study: Teacher’s Dialogue with a Small Group of Students

 
Teachers’ Discourse During Whole-Class, Small Group, and Cooperative Learning

 
Whole-class Versus Cooperative Learning

 
Small-Group Versus Cooperative Learning

 
Communications Skills and Cooperative Learning

 
Types of Mediated Learning

 
Pedagogical Practices That Promote Thinking

 
Case Study: An Exchange between a Teacher and One of the Small Groups in her Fifth Grade Class

 
Case Study: A Discussion among Students in a Small Group

 
Case Study: An Exchange between an Eleventh Grade Teacher and a Small Group of Students

 
Case Study: A Group Discussion among Eleventh Grade Students

 
Other Ways of Challenging Students’ Thinking and Facilitating Interactions

 
Creating the Learning Environment

 
Practical Activity: Ways of Creating a Cooperative Learning Environment

 
Bringing It All Together: Understanding the Research

 
Chapter Summary

 
Practical Activities

 
 
4. Strategies to Promote Student Discourse
Introduction and Learning Objectives

 
Strategies for Helping Students to Dialogue Together

 
Reciprocal Teaching

 
Case Study: An Example of the Four Reciprocal Teaching Strategies

 
Practical Activity: Ways of Teaching Reciprocal Teaching Strategies to Students

 
Practical Activity: Ideas for Establishing Audience Roles

 
Collaborative Strategic Reading

 
Practical Activity: Ways of Introducing CSR to Students to Enhance their Understanding of Text

 
Scripted Cooperation

 
Guided Reciprocal Peer Questioning

 
Ask To Think-Tel Why Strategy

 
Case Study: Example of Fifth Grade Students Dialoguing Together Using the Ask to Think-Tel Why Questioning Strategies

 
Self-Regulated Strategy Development

 
Bringing It All Together: Understanding the Research

 
Chapter Summary

 
Practical Activities

 
 
5. Group Composition
Introduction and Learning Objectives

 
Harnessing the Power of the Group: Productive Small Groups

 
Case Study: Students’ Perceptions of Mixed-Ability Groupings in Their Classroom

 
Ability Groupings

 
Catering For Students with Diverse Needs

 
Practical Activity: Ideas for Establishing Mixed-Ability Groups

 
Gender Groupings

 
Teachers’ Perspectives on Grouping Students

 
Friendship Groupings

 
Practical Activity: Ideas for Establishing Friendship Groups

 
Status

 
Case Study: Enhancing Mandy’s Low-Status in her Group

 
Multiple Intelligences

 
Interest Groupings

 
Surveying Students’ Interests

 
Computer Technology Groupings

 
Promoting Student Talk

 
Case Study: Preparing a Power Point Presentation on Nicotine

 
Practical Activity: Ideas for Establishing Computer Groupings

 
Bringing It All Together: Understanding the Research

 
Chapter Summary

 
Practical Activities

 
 
6. Assessing Small Group Learning
Introduction and Learning Objectives

 
Case Study: Teachers’ Reports on How They Assess Small Group Learning

 
Formative Assessment

 
Curriculum-Based Assessments

 
Peer Assessment

 
Computer-Supported Peer Assessment

 
Practical Activity: Conducting Formative Assessments of Small Group Learning

 
Summative Assessment

 
Criterion-Referenced Assessments

 
Authentic Assessments

 
Using Authentic Assessments in Different Contexts

 
Case Studies

 
Portfolios

 
Exhibitions of Performance

 
Problem-Base Inquiries

 
Problem-Based Learning Using Formative and Summative Assessments

 
Key Points on Summative Assessments and their Purposes

 
Practical Activity: Conducting Summative Assessments of Small Group Learning

 
Bringing It All Together: Understanding the Research

 
Chapter Summary

 
Practical Activities

 
 
7. Teachers’ Responsibilities in Establishing Cooperative Learning in their Classrooms
Introduction and Learning Objectives

 
Case Study: A High School Teacher’s Experience with Cooperative Learning

 
Creating a Cooperative Learning Environment

 
Student-Centered Learning

 
Negotiate Expectations for Small Group Behaviors

 
Developing Communication Skills for Group Discussion

 
Specific Metacognitive Skills That Promote Discourse

 
The Teacher’s Role In Promoting Mediated-Learning

 
Developing Appropriate Helping Behaviors

 
Choosing Tasks for Small Group Discussions

 
Monitoring Students’ Progress and Evaluating Outcomes

 
Case Study: Developing Criteria for Assessing Group Outcomes in Sixth Grade

 
Chapter Summary

 
Practical Activities

 
 
8. Future Developments in Using Small Groups
Introduction and Learning Objectives

 
Comprehensive School Reform (CSR)

 
Case Study: Two Middle School Teachers’ Experiences with a Comprehensive School Reform Program

 
The Implications of CSR Programs for Democratic and Learner-Centered Teaching Practices

 
Student Participation in Negotiating Opportunities for Learning

 
Practical Activity: Helping Schools Establish Positive Learning Environments

 
The Impact of Computer Technology on Small Group Learning

 
The Implications for Designing Classrooms of the Future

 
The Importance of Teamwork and Communication

 
Chapter Summary

 
Practical Activities

 
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Author

"Gilles focuses the majority of the book on the relationship in the classroom between the individual teacher and the students. She gives teachers ammunition to overcome resistance to cooperative learning by presenting well-substantiated research on virtually every page of her book showing the benefits of having students study together." —Ted Wohlfarth, PSYCCRITIQUES

Ted Wohlfarth
PSYCCRITIQUES
PSYCCRITIQUES
Key features
•Presents an overview of the major research and theoretical perspectives that underpin the development of cooperative learning pedagogy;

•Outlines how specific small group experiences can promote thinking and learning;

•Discusses the key role teachers play in promoting student discourse;

•Demonstrates how interaction style among students and teachers is crucial in facilitating discussion and learning; and,

•Provides information on how teachers can assess both the process and outcome of learning

For instructors

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