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A teaching method where a small group of mixed-ability learners work together to solve a common problem. Each learner takes equal responsibility for solving the problem and learning; that is, learners must work together to ensure that everyone has acquired an understanding of the concepts and material in question. The most successful cooperative learning occurs when there is a combination of rewards for attaining group goals and individual accountability. Teaching students communication and helping skills increases the likelihood of success of instructional efforts employing cooperative-learning methods.
Cooperative learning is one of the cornerstones of constructivist approaches to teaching and learning. In general, constructivists (e.g., Piaget, Vygotsky) posit that engaging in cooperative learning is more akin to real-world learning environments where knowledge about the world is co-constructed ...