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etc.) The concept of non-foundational knowledge challenges not only the product acquired, but

also the process employed in the acquisition of foundational knowledge. Most importantly, in

cooperative, the authority remains with the instructor, who retains ownership of the task,

which involves either a closed or a closable (that is to say foundational) problem (the

instructor knows or can predict the answer). In collaborative, the instructor--once the task is

set—transfers all authority to the group. In the ideal, the group’s task is always open ended.

Seen from this perspective, cooperative does not empower students. It employs them to serve

the instructor’s ends and produces a “right” or accettable answer. Collaborative does truly

empower and braves all the risks of empowerment (for example, having the group or class

agree to an embarrassingly simplistic or unconvincing position or produce a solution in conflict

with the instructor’s). Every person, Brufee (1995) holds, belongs to several “ interpretative or

knowledge communities” that share vocabularies, points of view, histories, values, conventions

and interests. The job of the instructor is to help students learn to negotiate the boundaries

between the communities they already belong to and the community represented by the

teacher’s academic discipline, which the students want to join.

Every knowledge community has a core of foundational knowledge that its members consider

as given (but not necessarily absolute). To function independently within a knowledge

community, the fledgling scholar must master enough material to become conversant with the


Rockwood concludes: “ In my teaching experience, cooperative represents the best means to

approach mastery of foundational knowledge. Once students become reasonably conversant,

they are ready for collaborative, ready to discuss and asses,…”

Myers suggests use of the “transaction” orientation as a compromise between taking hard

positions advocating either methodology. “This orientation views aducation as a dialogue

between the student and the curriculum. Students are viewed as problem solvers. Problem

solving and inquiry approaches stressing cognitive skills and the ideas of Vygotsky, Piaget,

Kohlberg and Bruner are linked to transaction. This perspective views teaching as a

“conversation” in which teachers and students learn together through a process of negotiation

with the curriculum to develop a sgared view of the world.”

Brody and Davidson (1998) look at the differences between the two paradigms

epistomologicly. In the early 1970s some educators were formulating methodsbased upon

studies of human social interaction and group learning. These studies lead to cooperative

learning strategie based upon social interdependence theory, cognitive-developmental theory

and the behavioral learning theory.

Another group of educators based their framework for group work on theories derived from

studies about the social nature of human knowledge. The different roots of constructivism

formes the basis of collaborative learning.

Johnson, Johnson and Smith (1998) clarify the differences between the cooperatove learning

strategies. “Social interdependence theory assumes that cooperative efforts are based on

intrinsic motivation generated by interpersonal factors and a joint aspiration to achieve a

significant goal. Behavioral learning theory assumes that cooperative efforts are powered by

extrinsic motivation to achieve rewards. Social interdependence theory focuses on relational

concepts dealing with what happens among individuals (for example cooperation is something

that exists only among individuals not within them), whereas the cognitive-development

perspective focuses an what happens within a single person (for example, the disequilibrium,

cognitive reorganization). The differences across these theoretical assumptions have yet to be

fully explored or solved.”

Brody and Davidson (1998) identify a series of questions for a teaching and learning in the

classroom which help distinguish between the approaches.

“Questions teachers ask from the cooperative learning perpective

1. How do we teach social skill?

2. How can we develop self-esteem, responsibility, and respect for others?

3. How does social status effect learning an small groups?

4. How do you promote problem solving and manage conflict?

5. Are extrinsic or intrinsic rewards more effective?

6. How can we prove that cooperative learning increases academic achievement?

7. How do we teach children to take on vatious roles?

8. How do we structure cooperative activities?

Questions teachers ask from a collaborative perspective

1. What is the purpose of the activity?

2. What is the importance of talk in learning?

3. To what extant is getting off topic a valuable learning experience?

4. How can we empower children to become autonomous learners?

5. What is the difference between using language to learn and learning to use language?

6. How can we negotiate relevant learning experiences with children?

7. How do we interact with students in such a way that we ask only real questions rather

than those for which we already know the answers?

8. How can we use our awareness of the social nature of learning to create effective small

group learning environments?

Johnson, Johnson sand Holubec (1991) have established a definition of cooperative learning

which edentifies five basic elements necessary for a procedure to be considered cooperative.

They also define structures and evaluations procedures within which any content may be

taught, rather than defining procedures based upon specific curriculum. They have developed

an extensive set of worksheets for teachers and students to use in establishing the five

elements. The Johnson’s five items are as follows.

“Positive Interdependence-Students perceive that they need each other to complete the

group’s task (“sink or swim together”). Teachers may structure positive interdependence by

establishing mutual goals (learn and make sure all other group members learn), joint rewards

(if all group members achieve above criteria, each will receive bonus points), shared resources

(one paper for each group or each member receives part of the information), and assigned

roles (summarizer, encourager of participation, recorder, time keeper etc.).

Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction-Students promote each other’s learning by helping,

sharing, and encouraging efforts to learn. Students explain, discuss, and teach what they know

to classmates. Teachers structure the groups so that students sit knee to knee talk through

each aspect of the assignment.

Individual Accountability-Each student’s performance is frequantly assessed and the resultes

are given to the group and the individual. Teachers may structure individual accountability by

giving an individual test to each student or randomly selecting one member of the group to

give the answer.

Interpersonal And Small group Skills-Groups cannot function effectively if students do not have

and use the needed social skills. Teachers teach these skills as purposefully and precisely as

academic skills. Collaborative skills include leadership, decision making, trust building,

communication, and conflict-management skills.

Group Processing-Groups need specific time to discuss how well they are achieving their goals

and maintaining effective working relationships among members. Teachers structure group

processing by assigning such tasks as (a) list at least three member actions which helped the

group be successful and (b) list one action that could be added to make the group

moresuccessful tomorrow. Teachers also monitor the groups and give feedback on how well

the groups are working together and the class as a whole.

The National Council of Teachers of Math (NCTM) has a similar definition as presented by Alice

Artzt and Claire Newman (1990) in their book “How to use cooperative learning in a math

class. “Cooperative learning involves a small group of learners, who work together as a team

to solve a problem, complete a task, or accomplish a common goal. There are many different

cooperative learning techniques; however, all of them have certain elements in common.

These elements are the ingredients necessary to insure that when students do work in groups,

they work cooperatively. First, the members of group must perceive that they are part pof a

team and that they all have a common goal. Second, group membersmust realize that the

problem they are to solve is a group problem and that the success or failure of the group will

be shared by all memners of the group. Third, to accomplish the group’s goal, all students

must talk with one another-to-engage in discussion of all problems. Finally, it must be clear to

all that each member’s individual work has a direct effect on the group’s success. Teamwork is

of utmost importance.”

Many of the elements of cooperative learning may be used in collaborative situations. Foe

example students work in pairs together in a Think-Pair-Share procedure, where students

consider a question individually, discuss their ideas with another student to form a consensus

answer, and then share their results with the entire class. The use of pairs can be introduced

at any time during a class to address questions or solve problems or to create variety in a

class presentation. The Jig Saw method (Aronson 1978) is a good example. Students become

“experts”on a concept and are responsible for teaching it to the other group members. Groups

subdivide a topic and members work together with those from other groups who have the

same topic. They then return to their original groups and explain their topic. Slavin developed

the STAD method (Student Teams-Achievement-Divisions) where the teacher presents a

lesson, and then the students meet in teams of four or five members to complete a set of

worksheets on the lesson. Each student then takes a quiz on the material, and the scores the

students contribute to their teams are beased upon the degree to which they have improved

their individual past averages. The highest scoring teams are recognized in a weekly class

newsletter. In another method develop by Slavin- TGT (Teams-Games-Tournaments) instead

of taking quizzes the students play academic games as representatives of their teams. They

complete with students having similar achievement levels and coach each prior to the games

to insure all group members are competent in the subject matter. Other structures include:

Co-op, Co-op (Kagan), CIRC-Cooperative Integrated Reading and Comparison (Madden,

Slavin, Stevens), Group Investigation (Sharan, Aharan), Issues Controversy, Learning

Together (Johnson, Johnson), Jigsaw II (Slavin), TAI-Team Assisted Individualization (Slavin,

Leavy, Madden), Structured Controversy (Johnson, Johnson).


There are many ways that cooperative learning can be implemented. An educator’s philosophy

plays a key role in determining how cooperative learning is used. The table below displays a

number of issues in education. Following the table, implications of various choices are

discussed. Please bear in mind that the choices in the table, implications of various choices are

discussed. Please bear in mind that the choices in the table are not either-or choices. Instead,

they represent continua, and the views of educators lie at many different points along these

continua. Further, a given educator’s views are affected by the students they are currently


1. student-centered-----------------------teacher-centered

2. intrinsic motivation-------------------extrinsic motivation

3. knowledge construction--------------knowledge transmission

4. loose, trusting students to do--------structured, it right social engineering

Issue 1. Student-centered—Teacher-centered

The issue here is the role of students in shaping the classroom. Student-centered, also called

learner-centered, means that students provide input into what the class does and how it does

it. This includes decisions about what to study, how to study it (e.g., by reading, field trips,

discussion, lecture), choice of group mates, how often to use groups, which group activities to

do, how assessment is conducted, and what rewards and punishments – if any – are given.

In a teacher-centered situation the above decisions are made exclusively by the teacher.

Teachers are the bosses, leaders, and creators, while students are the employees, followers,

and users. The what and how of learning are preplanned by the teacher. When students are in

groups, they are studying material chosen by the teacher. The teacher decides wno is in which

group, gives groups time limits for finishing thei tasks, and does all the assessment.

Issue 2. Intrinsic motivation-Extrinsic motivation

The issue here is how students become motivated to learn and cooperate. Intrinsic motivation

comes from within students. For example, they want to learn for the joy of learning, because

they are very interested in the topic, or to improve themselves. Helping other students flows

from the desire to be altruistc and the enjoyment of collective effort. Students learn together

without the use of grades, team award certificates, and other rewards or punishments to

encourage them.

On the other hand, extrinsic motivation come from outside the students. For example, they

learn in order to receive praise, grades or orther rewards from teachers, parents, classmates,

and others. They may not help one another learn if there are no outside incentives. When

rewards or threats of punishment are not there, students may be less eager to learn and to

help one another.

Issue 3. Knowledge construction-Knowledge transmission

This issue involves the process by which students learn. Knowledge construction, a concept

from cognitive psychology, is the idea that learners construct their own networks of kowledge

by connecting nex information with their past knowledgeand interests. Each person is

different; we each will come away from the same lesson with different constructions of the

ideas presented. Teachers can facilitate this construction work, but the key is what happens in

each individual’s mind. The use of open-ended questions is consistent with knowledge

construction. In this view, collaborative interaction in groups provides students with many

opportunities to build and try out their developing knowledge.

Knowledge transmission, a concept from behaviorist psychology, sees knowledge flowing

directly from the teacherto the student, just like the teacher is pouring knowledge into the

students’ heads. What the teacher teaches should go into each learner’s head without being

filtered by what is already there. Close-ended questions tend to predominate in this type of

instruction. The main role of groups from this perspective is to make sure group members

master the material transmitted by the teacher.

Issue 4. Loose—Structured

This issue refers to the extend which teachers believe groups of students will work together

well without teacher intervention. Teachers may start by using more structure and as students

become familiar with the group process and proficient at working together they eventually,

may be looser about structuring group activities and teaching collaborative skills in order to

encourage effective group interaction. On the other hand, other teachers feel thet they need to

be like social engineers, structuring group interaction, or else students will not reap the

benefits of working together. The issues discussed above are also heard when some people

contrast the terms “collaborative learning” and “cooperative learning”. At the same time, it

should be pointed out that other educators use the two terms interchangeably.

Collaborative learning (Orr 1997)

Frequently, when students or teachers hear phrase collaborative learning, they automatically

assume a work group context, harken back to their own unpleasant experiences with work or

study groups, and dismiss the notion of collaboration as an unworkable approach that attempts

to transfer the burden of teaching from teacher to student. Such anxiety is worth nothing




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+1 anno fa

Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in Scienze dell'Educazione e della Formazione
A.A.: 2012-2013

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher marilu1610 di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Lingua straniera per l'educazione e formazione e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Niccolò Cusano - Unicusano o del prof De Filippi Raffaella.

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