This study is on the effect of cooperative learning on academic achievement of secondary school students in basic technology in Onelga Rivers state. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected secondary schools in Onelga, Rivers state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made principals, vice principal administration, non teaching staff and junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
- Background of the study
In order to teach effectively, the teachers must have sufficient knowledge about the students, in addition to the knowledge about the subject and appropriate methods of teaching. Modern researcher indicates that if proper and suitable methods and techniques are used, even the students of less intelligence can easily learn. Modern researchers indicate four models of instruction that can lead to high student achievement. These include Direct Instruction, Cooperative Learning, Mastery Learning and Project-Based Instruction. (Sadker and Sadker,1997). Cooperation is working together to accomplish shared goals within cooperative situation, Individuals seek outcomes that are beneficial to themselves and to all other group members. Cooperative learning is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning (Johnson, Johnson &-Holubec, 1998). The terms group learning and cooperative learning are often used as if they mean the same thing. In fact, group work means several students working together and working together does not necessarily involve corporation. Cooperative learning is an arrangement in which students work in mixed ability groups and are rewarded on the basis of the success of the group as a whole (Woolfolk, 2001). Cooperative learning activities are carefully structured learning activities in which students are held accountable for their contribution, participation and learning. Students are also provided incentives to work as team in teaching others and learning from others (Slavin, 2000). Though cooperative learning model is attracting worldwide attention of researchers in education, very few studies could be found in the previous research literature relating to the subject of social studies especially in Pakistan. The researcher could trace only one study conducted by Hawkins et al (1998) who found cooperative learning to be effective for teaching Social Studies to 8th class. This gap in knowledge about usefulness or otherwise of this model of teaching needed to be bridged up by further research at diffe In recent years, studies involving cooperative learning, one kind of student-centered approach have emerged as an internationally important area of social science research among researchers (Slavin, 2011). Many studies have been conducted in different settings of education, using different kinds of cooperative learning techniques. Such techniques are Learning Together (LT), Jigsaw Grouping, Teams-Games-Tournaments (TGT), Group Investigation (GI), Student Teams Achievement Division (STAD), and Team Accelerated Instruction (TAI). A series of research studies has found a appreciate relationship between the higher cognitive and affective outcomes, and cooperative learning approaches (Johnson & Johnson, 2005; Tran & Lewis, 2012a; Tran & Lewis, 2012b). In the setting of Vietnamese higher education lecture-based teaching, one kind of traditional approach has been still the most prevalent instructional approach (MOET, 2009; Harman & Nguyen, 2010). In comparison with cooperative learning techniques, lecture-based teaching has been reported to be less effective to the demands of high rates of cognitive and affective outcomes (Slavin, 2011). In order to improve students’ cognitive outcomes, an alternative to lecture-based teaching could be cooperative learning (Tran & Lewis, 2012a&b). This approach has been reported to improve students’ achievement, and their knowledge retention (Johnson & Johnson, 2009). Cooperative learning comprises “instructional methods in which teachers organize students into small groups, which then work together to help one another learn academic content” (Slavin, 2011, p.344). Cooperative learning consists of five basic elements: positive interdependence, promotive interaction, individual accountability, teaching of interpersonal and social skills, and quality of group processing. Learning situations are not cooperative if students are arranged into groups without positive interdependence (Johnson & Johnson, 2009). Positive interdependence means that in cooperative learning situations, students are required to work together as a cohesive group to achieve shared learning objectives (Yager, 2000). In the process, students must be responsible for their own learning and for the success of other group members’ learning (Slavin, 2011). In other words, students must ensure that other members in their group complete the tasks and achieve the academic outcomes. The lesson will not be cooperative if students do not “swim together” in the group learning activities (Johnson & Johnson, 2008). Hence, positive interdependence needs to be constructed in cooperative learning groups to help students work and learn together. Positive interdependence results in reciprocal interaction among individuals, which promotes each group member’s productivity and achievement. Promotive interactionoccurs as individuals encourage and facilitate each other’s efforts to accomplish the group’s goals. In cooperative learning groups, students are required to interact verbally with one another on learning tasks (Johnson & Johnson, 2008). As part of the cooperative learning condition, students are required to interact verbally with one another on learning tasks (Johnson & Johnson, 2009), exchange opinions, explain things, teach others and present their understanding (Johnson, 2009). Individual responsibility means that students ask for assistance, do their best work, present their ideas, learn as much as possible, take their tasks seriously, help the group operate well, and take care of one another (Johnson, 2009). Positive interdependence is recognized to create “responsibility forces” that increase the individual accountability of group members for accomplishing shared work and facilitating other group members’ work (Johnson & Johnson, 2005).