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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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