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Cooperative learning groups - Essay Example

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The researcher states that scholars, educators, and school officials have become more and more interested in students’ performance in mathematics. Several studies have reported that, starting from middle school, girls are prone to develop more unconstructive attitudes towards math and score low on standardized exams. Moreover, a significant relationship has been found between performance and attitudes. Certain factors that are associated with performance of students in math comprise learning experiences, sense of belongingness, racial or ethnic affiliation, gender, self-worth, stereotyping and attitudes. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics claimed that instruction, competent educators, high expectations and equity should be awarded to every learner. By doing so, performance of students in math has a better chance to progress. The topics crucial for every student are usually included in Geometry, Algebra I and Algebra II subjects. However, only 62 percent of the overall population of high school graduates in 2000 finished three years of math in a manner that successfully introduced them to this integral content. This figure implies that students are not gaining the knowledge and proficiency they should possess to perform well in the world outside schooling. In fact, of roughly 70% pupils who promptly advance to college, approximately 28% should enroll in refresher or remedial programs in math or English. Moreover, a significant number of fourth grade and eight grade students poorly performed in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2003. (DiMaggio, 2001, p. 5). Every state that participated in the NAEP 4th grade math assessment test in 2000 and 2003 reported improvements in mean scores. Among the states that participated in the NAEP 8th grade assessment test in 2000 and 2003, the mean scores improved in numerous states (DiMaggio, 2001, p. 5). In a nutshell, the mean scores at all grade levels improved. Such progress is inspiring and rewarding but the scores still show the unsatisfactory outcome of collaborative attempts to greatly improve the performance of all students. To sum up, the performance of students in math is not where they should be when measured up to the nation’s standards, the achievement levels of their international counterparts and their capacity to function well beyond high school (Strebe, 2009). The nation needs individuals that is capable of performing in the contemporary world, which implies that new teaching and learning strategies are needed to achieve the desired outcomes in math and other major subjects. Cooperative Learning Groups Learning has traditionally been focused on ‘competition’, hence, the emergence of cooperative learning. Cooperative learning is a model of instruction where small groups composed of learners of distinct capability levels team up to achieve common objectives and take full advantage of their potentials. Cooperative learning facilitates individual responsibility within the framework of cooperation or group dynamics (Williams, 2002). Teamwork is an important component of the attainment of learning objectives of the course. In the context of cooperative learning, the learning is planned and organized to ensure that learning is actually occurring (Kagan, 1994). The teacher picks the groups to think about a multitude of perspectives, capabilities, ethnic/racial affiliations, gender and other attributes. Furthermore, cooperative learning builds a classroom partnership and harmonizes individual responsibility and interdependence. Because the task of the group is incomplete until every member has accurately and clearly understood the topic, every student is contributing to the attainment of a shared objective. With every student accountable to a specific part of the ...Show more
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The major weaknesses of this study are concentrated on the cooperative learning groups in mathematics. This paper concerns the positive and negative effects of cooperative learning; its key components and models/strategies; connection of cooperative learning and higher order thinking…
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