The Purpose of Cooperative Learning

In forming group of cooperative learning, generally teams are deliberately heterogeneous and consist of two to five members. In bigger groups there is a high achiever, one or two average achievers and low achievers. The groups are chosen by the teacher after careful consideration. The teams are responsible for learning the task together, helping each other. Learners are encouraged to explain ideas or skills to one resource person for the whole team. Those elements in group learning situations help ensure cooperative effort and enable the disciplined implementation of cooperative learning for long-term success.

4. Principle Cooperative Learning

In cooperative learning there is an interdependence established among the students in each groups as they strive for the achievement of group or individual objectives. This technique draws from both behaviorism and humanism. For that reason in teaching through cooperative learning the teacher and students should have known and understood some principles in cooperative learning, they are: a. Students are encouraged to think of „positive interdependence’ which means that the students are not thinking competitively and individualistically and in terms of the group. b. In cooperative learning, students often stay together in the same groups for a period of time so they can learn how to work better together. The teacher usually assigns students to the groups so that the groups are mixed. This allows students to learn from each other and also gives them practice in how to get along with people who are different from themselves. c. The efforts of an individual help not only the individual to be awarded, but also others in the class. d. Social skill such as acknowledging another’s contribution, asking others to contribute and keeping the conversation calm need to be explicitly taught. e. Language acquisition is facilitated by students interacting in the target language. f. Although students work together, each student is individually accountable. g. Responsibility and accountabil ity for each other’s learning are shaved. h. Each group member should be encouraged to feel responsible for participating and for learning. i. Teachers not only teach language but also teach cooperation as well as. Since social skills involve the use language, cooperative learning teaches language for both academic and social purposes. 34 The successes of Cooperative Learning crucially depend and organize on group work. This requires a structured program of learning carefully designed so that learners interact with each other and motivate to increase each other’s learning. Olsen and Kagan propose the following key element of successful group- based learning in Cooperative Learning: a. Positive interdependence b. Group formation c. Individual accountability d. Social skills e. Structuring and structures. 35 Based on the principles of cooperative learning above, the writer concludes that when students have not been taught how to works with others, teachers should not expect to be able to put them together in groups and ask them work together effectively but teachers should consider skills of students. Teachers have to understand that students need to be taught interpersonal and small group learning skills in order to students can adapt with other students.

5. Types of Cooperative Learning

Johnson et al., 1994:4-5 describe three types of cooperative learning groups: a. Formal cooperative learning groups. These last from one class period several weeks. These are established for a specific task and involve students working together to achieve learning goals. 34 Diane Larsen Freeman, Technique and Principles in Language Teaching, New York: Oxford University Press,2000, p.167-168 35 Jack C. Richards and Theodore S. Rodgers, Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,2001 , p.196

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