What is Cooperative Learning?
Cooperative learning is termed as a learning way in which the students learn in groups. In this type of learning the students interact with each other and build upon their school relationships, which is different from the traditional way of teaching. The main idea behind cooperative learning is to teach the students to be a functional part of a group so that they have grouped responsibilities as well as individual responsibilities. This type of learning not only increases the study skills of a student but also develops the communication skills. In order to understand deeply the cooperative learning one must explore the main theories of this type of learning.
Due to the vast information available on the internet, the teachers can implement different knowledge in their classroom rapidly, and it is the best way to increase the teacher resources. Upon going to Google about cooperative learning you can find many sites, which provide useful information, which can help the teachers in their teaching as well as the students in their learning.
In order to develop the communication and social skills of the student, a teacher must use cooperative learning in his or her classroom. However, it is best to compare and contrast between the major theorists of cooperative learning.
In the model given by Johnson & Johnson, there are five advantages given of cooperative learning. It starts from reflection and planning, small group or interpersonal learning skills, individual responsibility, simultaneous interaction and to the last positive interdependence. These five can also be regarded as the basic five principles of cooperative learning. The main idea behind this model was to understand that the students need to learn together in a noncompetitive atmosphere. Johnson & Johnson model is more conventional to the models of other theorists and therefore, is more approachable by the teachers.
The model of Dr. Robert Slavin is more based on the providing needs of individual students. His theory was also based on five principles much like that of Johnson & Johnson. Those five principles were, team recognition, individual improvement scores, quizzes, teams, and class representation. Dr. Robert Slavin was also the person to develop STAD (Student Teams and Achievement Division). His model was discredited apart from it being on a good basis but because of his lack of experience in the needs of today.
The third model which I am going to mention here is that of Dr. Spencer Kagan. His model mainly advocated two basic principles. His first principle stated that the world is very much competitive while in some respects not that much. For two, he did not support the idea of the only use of cooperative learning methods. He wanted to have a learning method which had a balance between individualistic, competitive, and cooperative classroom organization, which is used to prepare the students for complete sort of social skills.
In the end, Johnson & Johnson's model is the base of cooperative learning due to its simplicity in understanding and easiness in implementing in the classroom. Cooperative learning is really important as it binds the communication skills with social skills, which are in need to be developed by every student. However, since every theorist has a different approach towards cooperative learning it depends on the teacher's style to determine, which approach he or she would use for teaching.