Cooperative learning methods, in which students work in small groups to help one another learn, are used in schools throughout the world. They have been evaluated in hundreds of studies since the 1970s, when several practical approaches to cooperative learning were first developed and began to be evaluated. Under certain well-defined circumstances, cooperative learning methods can have important positive effects on student achievement. These effects are reason enough for educators to use proven cooperative methods in their teaching. Yet cooperative learning has particular importance in helping teachers create classroom environments conducive to the cognitive and social development of students of diverse cultural backgrounds. Using effective forms of cooperative learning or other proven methods in classes composed of students performing below expected levels can help reduce ...

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