Handbook of Cooperative Learning Methods

Handbook of Cooperative Learning Methods

Handbook of Cooperative Learning Methods

Handbook of Cooperative Learning Methods

Synopsis

This professional reference provides a broad picture of cooperative learning methods. The volume includes descriptions of the main generic methods of instruction, applications of cooperative learning to various subject-matter disciplines, and discussions of the implementation of cooperative learning in schools. The book is divided into three sections. The first, on methods, includes chapters on the fundamental strategies of cooperative learning. The second, on applications, provides practical information on the use of cooperative learning in mathematics, science, and language arts instruction. The third, on implementation, contains chapters on the creation and administration of cooperative learning programs in schools. Each chapter in this reference is written by an expert contributor and mentions current sources of additional information. Thus, the book is a comprehensive collection of practical information for all those interested in cooperative learning.

Excerpt

The chapters in this volume provide readers with a broad picture of cooperative learning methods today. Included are descriptions of the main generic methods, applications of cooperative learning to various subject matter domains, and chapters dealing with the implementation of cooperative learning in the schools and the problems it confronts.

In light of the decision to encompass all of these topics, it was unrealistic to strive for comprehensiveness within the confines of this volume. One obvious omission is the application of cooperative learning to the social studies, although examples of cooperative learning in social studies are found in several chapters in this book. Apart from the constraints of space, two handbooks on cooperative learning stressing the social studies were prepared more or less at the same time as this volume (Pedersen &Digby, 1995; Stahl, 1993). Therefore, a single chapter on that subject in this volume seemed to be an unnecessary duplication of effort, as well as too limited in scope to constitute a contribution. Nor could any one set of chapters on the application of cooperative learning ever be definitive. The applications presented here are illustrations of how one might use cooperative learning in different subject-matter domains. Many other illustrations now in use could not be presented here, and new approaches are constantly evolving.

The "new wave" of cooperative learning appeared in the early seventies--following the pioneering work of John Dewey, and later of Alice Miel and Herbert Thelen in the 1950s. Yet, the challenges of teacher education for employing cooperative learning methods and implementing them in the schools still remain. Cooperative learning seems to have become, or is on the road to becoming, an integral part of the instructional repertoire of many ele-

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