AITSL STANDARD: 4.1 – Support student participation

Establish and implement inclusive and positive interactions to engage and support all students in classroom activities.

What is Cooperative Learning?

Cooperative Learning is when students form into small teams to complete a task, with equal accountability and participation, positive interdependence. Each team member is reliant on every other team member to contribute equally to ensure that the task is complete.

Cooperative learning activities are highly structured to ensure that the workload is not allocated to just one person, for example the most academic or reliable individual in the group. Instead, all members are given equal accountability for the activity. Check out the following that I have featured:

To conceptualise cooperative learning, a few years ago I wrote the following notes.

As you can see, cooperative learning has many facets that are interlinked and reliant on one another. It is essential that students are held accountable for their contribution, as group success for the activity should have a sink or swim outcome.

Modelling of these tasks to students is essential to ensure that students are supporting one another and are on track to complete the task. This section of the website is committed to showing how to model these learning activities.

There are many benefits and purposes of cooperative learning, such as improving social and communication skills. Furthermore, cooperative learning allows you to create homogenous learning environment, where students learn from others who are a different academic abilities.

There are a great number of learning activities that you experiment with in your class. In this section of the website, I will outline a number of activities.

For further cooperative learning activities and resources, I highly recommend that you head over to the Kagan Learning website.