Cooperative learning has been noted by research to be one of the excellent ways to introduce the 21st-century students to the changing world (Hertz-Lazarowitz, Kagan, Sharan, Slavin, & Webb, 2013). This can be ensured by letting their voices to be heard and bring back the students interaction into the classrooms. Cooperative learning is a skill that many instructors say that they know how to execute, but often they dont have a clear indulgent of what cooperative learning is all about and its intent. Therefore, it is vital that the educators have a clear vision that many elements must be present to ensure there is an adequate cooperative learning environment. Cooperative learning provides active learning, thus giving every student an opportunity to contribute to small teams.
National Education Association (NEA) research on the spotlight on cooperative learning overview on cooperative learning has emphasized the students are all of the different capabilities and when they are brought together in their groups, they sharpen each other (NEA staff researchers, 2015). Moreover, with the various levels of abilities in a group, every member is not only responsible for learning of the tasks at hand but also assisting their fellow teammates to learn so that wholly they can achieve. Further to what I have learnt is that whenever teamwork are valorised, there is always more meaningful knowledge that is produced. By the students working together in groups not only are they challenged to help each other understand the familiar concepts to solve the problem but provided an environment where they can also expose their doubts and questions, thus enabling maximization of everyone learning. Interesting research on brain activity indicates that anything that is attached to emotions is better remembered than that which is non-emotional (Zakaria, Solfitri, Daud, & Abidin, 2013). Therefore, a student who works together with their peers by being involved in groups works they develop a fun way of learning which is coupled with socialization. Thus, the information shared is likely to be remembered and also promotes the students engagement in the classroom which is vital in learning.
A new component presented in the article was on the overuse of Cooperative learning which may result to not the realization of the intended aim of cooperative learning. There are often problems that are realized with cooperative learning especially if there are vague objectives and poor accountability scenarios. Consequently, it is up to the teachers to ensure they take precaution on the overuse and abuse of cooperative learning. Moreover, NEA notes that by tasking every student with a responsibility can potentially become a burden to the responsible student (NEA staff researchers, 2015). Therefore, this can result in the student only focussing on the task assigned to them and not learning much from their colleagues, therefore, only encouraging lower level thinking translating to poor inclusions. Nevertheless, it is vital to note that despite the advantages that are realized with cooperative learning, there is also a possibility of educators abusing the education venture. In place of the expected benefits, it results in low-level thinking which is often facilitated with the tutors lack interest on the learner's progress and also vague objectives given onset of the session.
The overall reaction to the article is positive. The article has explicitly accounted for the benefits that are realized with cooperative learning with keen interest on; higher productivity which translated to greater achievements, there are committed and more caring relationships that are formulated during the group work and social competence is established thus boosting self-esteem (NEA staff researchers, 2015). With a highlight on the benefits of cooperative learning, the article has placed emphasize on the active learning which is a great product of cooperative learning. The focus of educators is to engage the students and one of the best ways to ensure there is active learning in the classroom is by placing the students into different groups and allowing them to work together to archive the set objective (Pedersen, & Digby, 201). Moreover, the article has introduced a new segment on the impact that cooperative learning can have on the students if the educators repeatedly abuse it. This is a paramount concept especially to the instructors who do not have comprehensive knowledge of the functionality of cooperative learning. As highlighted earlier, one of the best way to introduce the 21st-century students to the changing world is through cooperative learning. Students have the ability to learn from each other, and through the interactions, they learn not only academic insights but also real life cases and find out how they can solve the identified problems in the society.
In summary, National Education Association (NEA) research on the spotlight on cooperative learning overview has managed to relate to my experiences on cooperative learning and further brought an interesting twist on the dangers of abuse on cooperative learning on how in place of advocating for active learning, it can result to lower thinking. Therefore, is paramount that the instructors are well conversant with the objectives of the group work and constantly keep an eye on the progression of the teams to ensure there is a balance.
Hertz-Lazarowitz, R., Kagan, S., Sharan, S., Slavin, R., & Webb, C. (Eds.). (2013). Learning to cooperate, cooperating to learn. Springer Science & Business Media.
NEA staff researchers (2015) Research Spotlight on Cooperative Learning: NEA Reviews of the Research on Best Practices in Education http://www.nea.org/tools/16870.htmPedersen, J. E., & Digby, A. D. (2014). Secondary schools and cooperative learning: Theories, models, and strategies. Routledge.
Zakaria, E., Solfitri, T., Daud, Y., & Abidin, Z. Z. (2013). Effect of cooperative learning on secondary school students mathematics achievement. Creative Education, 4(02), 98.
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