The purpose of this paper was to review current literature on cooperative learning. This paper was organized into four categories to present the information that was researched. These categories included: the history , the use of the model in the classroom, the goals of teachers and students, and the disadvantages of cooperative learning.
Cooperative learning was of importance because it has been a teaching model that has provided for interaction among students, allowed for the active exchange of ideas, and promoted critical thinking.
I chose this topic because I desired to know more about incorporating this model into the classroom. I wanted to acquire more knowledge about the implementation, advantages, and disadvantages of cooperative learning. I chose to explore research in this area so that my effectiveness as a teacher would be enhanced.
An Investigation 4 Review of Literature History Cooperative learning has been around for many years, considerably longer than one might think. Cooperative learning strategies have been the most extensively researched alternatives to whole group instruction. The theories and practices of cooperative learning date back to as early as the first century. The Talmud stated that, "In order to understand its content, each student must have a learning partner"� (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1994, p 18). In England, during the late 1700s, Joseph Lancaster and Andrew Bell extensively used cooperative learning groups to promote education. This in turn led to the opening of a cooperative based school in America (Johnson et al). Many people in education have been great advocates of the practice for hundreds of years.
One of the fore leaders in America of cooperative learning was Colonel Francis Parker. In the late 19th century, Colonel Parker had a desire to bring democracy and individuality into the school system, so he created a structured classroom atmosphere that was based on this theory. Thousands of people visited his facility annually to view first hand the powerful institution that he created (Johnson et al). From this point, the interest and inquiry of cooperative learning began to grow.
The basis of cooperative learning was derived from a combination of the learning perspectives of the social interdependence theory, cognitive developmental theory, and the behavioral learning theory. Social interdependence focused on how individuals interacted with one another. The cognitive developmental approach focused on conflict An Investigation 5 resolution among participants in a group. The behavior learning theory focused on the rewards and reinforcements of learning (Johnson et al). Together these three theories influenced the practices and perspective of cooperative learning groups that have existed in many classroom setting around the world.
In the 1930's education turned from students working together to students competing against one another (Johnson & Johnson, 1995). Students looked at one another as their opponent rather than their ally. Due to recent research and the exploration of this learning perspective, cooperative learning emerged as a major area of interest as well as a model for teachers to promote learning in the classroom.
Recently, the primary contributors of cooperative learning have been Roger and David Johnson, Robert Slavin, and Shlomo Sharan (Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun, 2000).