Co-operative learning: what makes group-work work? – The Nature of Learning – OECD iLibrary
“Robert Slavin reviews the substantial body of studies of co-operative learning in schools, in particular those using control groups being taught with more traditional methods.
There are two main categories – “Structured Team Learning” and “Informal Group Learning Methods” – each reviewed and illustrated. As regards affective outcomes, co-operative learning overwhelmingly shows beneficial results. For achievement outcomes, positive results depend heavily on two key factors. One is the presence of group goals (the learner groups are working towards a goal or to gain reward or recognition), the other is individual accountability (the success of the group depends on the individual learning of every member).
The chapter presents alternative perspectives to explain the benefits of co-operative learning – whether it acts via motivations, social cohesion, cognitive development, or “cognitive elaboration”. Despite the very robust evidence base of positive outcomes, cooperative learning “remains at the edge of school policy” and is often poorly implemented.”
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