Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is a strategy often used by teachers to place students of different learning abilities together. These students form a team which often benefits them in the long run. Students learn to cooperate with others while achieving their goals. Team work is taught while forming these small groups which learn from each others efforts. This is a great benefit for the future when these students leave for the workplace. The team effort used in cooperative learning will help student’s self-esteem and can improve individual performance. Students will learn that a team needs the effort from every student in the group and that the group as a total is counting on each individual.

Why should teachers implement cooperative learning?
Teachers find that students placed in cooperative learning groups will find that they learn social skills, oral communication and join in positive relationships more easily and readily. These skills are essential when it comes to the student’s future. Students discover that their contributions will help in the joint effort. Social skills are improved as students discuss concepts and solve problems. Leadership is often fostered with cooperative learning groups. Studies have shown that the use of cooperative learning has improved academic achievement along with behavior and attendance. This learning style helps students with motivation and increases their self-esteem.

Teachers have discovered that the use of cooperative learning groups also help with relationships among different ethnic groups. Learning groups will help students learn to cooperate while trying to achieve their goals. Students with learning disabilities have also found cooperative learning groups to improve relationships and also learning styles. When deciding if this style of learning is best for your students, remember there are three basic learning styles. Working individually, competing against other students, or cooperating in small groups. Students who cooperate have been found to be more successful and build better communication skills than those that have not been taught cooperation skills. Learning to celebrate others success and encouraging others to succeed will help all students in their future careers.

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