Research Supporting Cooperative Learning

Research on cooperative learning demonstrated “overwhelmingly positive” results and confirmed that cooperative modes are cross-curricular. Cooperative learning requires students to engage in group activities that increase learning and adds other important dimensions. The positive outcomes include: academic gains, improved race relations and increased personal and social development. Brady & Tsay (2010) report that students who fully participated in group activities, exhibited collaborative behaviours, provided constructive feedback and cooperated with their group had a higher likelihood of receiving higher test scores and course grades at the end of the semester. Results from Brady & Tsay’s (2010) study support the notion that cooperative learning is an active pedagogy that fosters higher academic achievement (p. 85).

Slavin states the following regarding research on cooperative learning which corresponds with Brady & Tsay’s (2010) findings.

    Students demonstrate academic achievement
    Cooperative learning methods are usually equally effective for all ability levels.
    Cooperative learning is affective for all ethnic groups
    Student perceptions of one another are enhanced when given the opportunity to work with one another
    Cooperative learning increases self esteem and self concept
    Ethnic and physically/mentally handicapped barriers are broken down allowing for positive interactions and friendships to occur