“ The instructional use of small groups so that students work together to achieve shared goals. The purpose of cooperative learning is to make each group member a stronger individual in his or her own right.”
We know more about CL than almost any other aspect of teaching and learning
Considerable body of research validating its effectiveness
Over the past 90 years 550 studies conducted comparing the relative effectiveness of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning
Consistently improves achievement and retention, creates more positive relationships among students, and promotes students' psychological health and self-esteem (Johnson and Johnson, 1989; Walters 2000; Kagan 1999)
Students actualize character competence by practicing prosocial skills while working on academic content.
Working collaboratively students practice the behaviors associated with core ethical values such as respect, responsibility, and integrity .
In the book EQ + IQ Best Leadership Practices for Caring and Successful Schools Knoll & Patti write “Cooperative learning strategies are vehicles for learning social-emotional skills and positive values.” (Edited by Elias, Arnold, Hussey 2003, p. 43)
“ Cooperative learning helped students learn in group settings and learn the dynamics of respect and responsibility by working with others.” A middle school teacher
“ Partnering and talking about character traits and applying them to specific life situations seemed to make character education all the more meaningful.” A high school teacher
Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education Principle 7 Strives to foster students’ self motivation. Principle 8 Engages the school staff as a learning and moral community that shares responsibility for character education and attempts to adhere to the same core values that guide the education of students. Principle 9 Fosters shared moral leadership and long range support of the character education initiative. Principle 10 Engages families and community members as partners in the character-building effort. Principle 11 Evaluates the character of the school, the school staff’s functioning as character educators, and the extent to which students manifest good character. Source: Character Education Partnership 2003 Principle 1 Promotes core ethical values as the basis of good character. Principle 2 Defines "character" comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and behavior. Principle 3 Uses a comprehensive, intentional, proactive, and effective approach to character development. Principle 4 Creates a caring school community. Principle 5 Provides students with opportunities for moral action. Principle 6 Includes a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character, and helps them to succeed.
Pairs Squared Using your handout, briefly review the Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education . With a partner, discuss and circle the principles that you think can be addressed through cooperative learning. Find another pair and compare your responses.
In Hearts and Minds: A Biological Brain in the Cultural Classroom, Robert Sylwester says, “We're inherently a cooperative species." (Sylwester, 2000, p. 2)
Say Something Select a partner. Use the handout to silently read the following quote. Each partner will say something after the quote is read (a question, comment, key point, personal connection, interesting idea).
The Caines explain in Making Connections: “ We have a brain-based drive to belong to a group and to relate to others. Hence educators need to support and consolidate social relationships and a sense of community. Friendship and companionship are both intrinsically important to us and contribute to safety, security, and relaxed alertness because a genuinely supportive group helps reduce threat .” (Caines 1994 p.125)
Little research on cooperative learning training (Cohen, E. Brody, D. Sapon-Shevin, M. 2004 p.3)
Different approaches and definitions
Something old is new again
Teachers in learners’ role
“ Ancess (2000) discovered that much learning occurs in teachers when they examine their own practices with particular students in mind. Student-centered reflection results in improved student outcomes. The improved student outcomes in turn persuade other teachers to adopt the pedagogical and organizational innovations.” (Hinde 2003 p. 9) What Research Says About Student-Centered Reflection
Alternative education Character-Based Literacy Program
” What really matters for achieving the complex goals of character education? According to Michael Fullan (1993), what matters for anything of significance are new skills, creative thinking, internal motivation, and commitment to take action.” (DeRoche and Williams 2001 p.94)