CONCEPT OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING
CL is an approach of teaching that makes maximum use of cooperative activities involving pairs and small groups of learners in the classroom. A few definitions are as follows:
- According to woolfolk (2001) “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”
- According to Johnson and Johnson, (2001) “In cooperative learning, teams, each with students of different levels of ability use a verity of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject .Each member of team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Cooperative effort results in participants striving for mutual benefits. So that all group members:
(1)Gain from each other’s efforts, (2)Recognize that all group members share a common fate, (3)Know that one’s performance is mutually caused by one self and one’s team members, and (4)Feel proud and jointly celebrate when a group members is recognized for achievement.”
The purpose of CL is to accomplish the goals of the group and improve the student ability to work in groups. The most important characteristic is students plan their own learning through unlimited tasks rather than following teacher’s assignments. It places learning responsibility on students and makes learning more fun. CL has also its own theories that are given below in short.
THEORIES OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING
According to Sharma & Sharma, (2008) there are several theories which plays a role in cooperative learning:
Social interdependence theory:
The social interdependence perspective of CL presupposes that the way social
interdependence is structured determines the way person interact with each other. In an education setting, social interdependence refers to students ‘effort to achieve, develop positive relationship, adjust psychologically and saw social competence. Therefore, one of the cooperative elements that have to be structured in the classroom is positive interdependence or cooperation.
Cognitive development theory:
The cognitive development perspective is grounded in the works of Piaget and Vygotsky. Piagetian perspective suggests that when individuals work together, socio-cognitive conflicts occur and create cognitive disequilibrium that stimulates perspectives- talking ability and reasoning. Vygotsky’s theory presents knowledge as a societal product.
Behavioural learning theory:
The behavioral social perspective presupposes that cooperative efforts are increased by motivation to achieve group rewards. The success of cooperative learning or collaborative learning is highly dependent upon reward structure. Three general types of reward structure are:
- individual reward for individual achievement
- Group reward for group achievement.
- Group reward for individual achievement.
In language learning the cognitive theory plays an important role. In language learning cognitive theory helps to develop the language in a systematic way. However, to develop second language is not fully justified. The theory is unable to explain the sequence of second language accquisition. Moreover, Behavioural theory and social interdependence theory help in language learning in a way it creates the need to interact and to behave in certain manners.