Cooperative Learning and Academic Achievement: Why Does Groupwork Work?
Cooperative learning refers to instructional methods in which students work in small groups to help each other learn. Four major theoretical perspectives on achievement effects of cooperative learning are reviewed: Motivational, social cohesion, developmental, and cognitive elaboration. Evidence from practical classroom research primarily supports the motivational perspective, which emphasizes the use of group goals and individual accountability for group success. However, there are conditions under which methods derived from all four theoretical perspectives contribute to achievement gain. This chapter reconciles these perspectives in a unified theory of cooperative learning effects.
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