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Cooperative and Collaborative Learning

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Johnson, D.W. and R.T. Johnson. LEARNING TOGETHER AND ALONE. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1991. This book explores essential components of cooperative learning that must be planned for group activities. These include: (1) positive interdependence; (2) face-to-face promotive interaction; (3) individual accountability and personal responsibility; (4) interpersonal and small-group skills; and (5) group processing. Further reading.

Radencich, M. and L. McKay (eds.). FLEXIBLE GROUPING FOR LITERACY IN THE ELEMENTARY GRADES. Boston, Mass.: Allyn & Bacon, 1995. Leading educators show how research illustrates that ability grouping does not usually benefit overall achievement and can often lead to inequalities of achievement. They conclude that most teachers should encourage flexible grouping using a variety of grouping formats.

Verduin, J.R., Jr. HELPING STUDENTS DEVELOP PROBLEM SOLVING AND INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS IN COOPERATIVE SETTINGS. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas, 1996. This book provides guides for creating and helping various kinds of groups to achieve skills for inquiry and investigation.

Weber, E. STUDENT ASSESSMENT THAT WORKS: A PRACTICAL APPROACH. Boston, Mass.: Allyn & Bacon, 1999. Weber provides strategies and question checklists for students to solve group conflicts in order to improve team success for every member. She offers advice on assessing students' products and progress.

Weber, E. ROUNDTABLE LEARNING: BUILDING UNDERSTANDING THROUGH ENHANCED MI STRATEGIES. Tuscon, AZ: Zephyr Press, 1997. Weber identifies practical strategies for collaborating with parents, students, teachers, and the wider learning community in using multiple intelligences in your classroom. She lists ten useful principles of change that provide springboards for improved collaboration.


Antil, L., J. Jenkins, S. Wayne, and P. Vadasy. "Cooperative Learning: Prevalence, Conceptualizations, and the Relationship between Research and Practice." AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL 35, no.3 (1997): 419-454.
The authors provide guidelines for deciding on group size and membership. They conclude that most teachers who use cooperative learning use pairs and small groups of three or four at least 57 percent of the time (abstract).

Chang, C.Y. and S.L. Mao. "The Effects on Students' Cognitive Achievement When Using the Cooperative Learning Method in Earth Science Classrooms." (requires subscription) SCHOOL SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS 99, no.7 (November 1999): 374-379.
The article compares the effect of cooperative learning and traditional teaching strategies on achievement in earth science at middle and high schools. Cooperative-learning strategies favor students' performances at higher learning levels. Lower learning levels such as fact acquisition and comprehension show neither raised nor lowered performance for either traditional or cooperative groups.

Cohen, E.G. "Restructuring the Classroom: Conditions for Positive Small Groups." REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH 64, no.1 (1994): 1-35.
Cohen illustrates three common structures for cooperative learning: (1) assignment of individual students to specific responsibilities within a larger group task or project; (2) assignment of students to work together on a common project or task; (3) assignment of students to groups to study and be responsible for group members' learning, where the group objective is the achievement of all group members.

Elbaum, B., J. Schumm, and S. Vaughn. "Urban Middle Elementary Students' Perceptions of Grouping Formats for Reading Instruction."(requires subscription) THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL JOURNAL 97, no.5 (1997): 475-500.
The authors show how examining students' perceptions of grouping alternatives contributes to a deeper understanding of results from various group formats

Fuchs, D., L. Fuchs, P. Mathes, and D. Simmons. "Peer Assisted Learning Strategies: Making Classrooms More Responsive to Diversity." AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL 34 (1997): 174-206.
The authors identify how groups can effectively address diversity within inclusive classrooms. They provide evidence that group work on academic tasks can facilitate improved student learning Further reading.

Kelliher, A.V. "A Critical Study of Homogeneous Grouping." CONTRIBUTIONS TO EDUCATION (Teachers College Bureau of Publications, Columbia University) 452 (1931).
The author shows that homogeneous grouping is not effective for achievement and can have negative effects on student attitudes, self-concept, and educational opportunities.

Hendrix, J.C. "Connecting Cooperative Learning and Social Studies." THE CLEARING HOUSE 73, no.1 (September/October, 1999): 57-60.
The author shows that students learn better through active involvement in activities, small-group interaction, and cooperative learning. The cooperative-learning model is presented for middle and high school social studies classes, but strategies provided here can be adapted to all subjects in most grades.

Linn, M.C. and N. C. Burbules. "Construction of Knowledge and Group Learning," in K. Tobin, ed., THE PRACTICE OF CONSTRUCTIVISM IN SCIENCE EDUCATION, pp. 91-119. Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1993
Further reading.

Paulson, D. "Active Learning and Cooperative Learning in the Organic Chemistry Lecture Class." (abstract) JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL EDUCATION 76, no.8 (August, 1999): 1136-1140.
Paulson illustrates methods used over years for teaching organic chemistry to adolescents. He typically begins by dividing the class into random study groups.

Randall, V. "Cooperative Learning: Abused and Overused?" THE EDUCATION DIGEST 65, no.2 (October, 1999): 29-32.
The author illustrates how the popularity of cooperative learning sometimes blinds educators to its drawbacks. She highlights weaknesses of cooperative learning and warns against its abuse and overuse.

Sadker, M., D. Sadker, and S. Klein. "The Issue of Gender in Elementary and Secondary Education," in G. Grant, ed., REVIEW OF RESEARCH IN EDUCATION, pp. 269-334. Washington, D.C.: American Educational Research Association, 1991.

Slavin, R.E. "Synthesis of Research on Cooperative Learning." EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP 48, no.5 (1991): 71-82.
Slavin provides a review of research suggesting that cooperative learning is an effective strategy Further reading.

Slavin, R.E. "Ability Grouping and Student Achievement in Elementary Schools: A Best Evidence Synthesis." REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH 57, no.3 (1987): 293-336.
Slavin shows how the number of participants in groups affects achievement. Groups with two or three members typically do better than groups with four or more members, he says.

Page-upWeb Sites

Alternative Community School
This middle/high school provides an alternative to traditional schools for students in Ithaca, New York.

Blacksburg New School
This Blacksburg, VA., private school provides a cooperative educational environment. Faculty shares commitment to academic and civic excellence, to individual and community responsibility, and to the love of learning.

Collegiate School
The oldest independent school in the United States, Collegiate School serves boys in grades K-12.

The Cooperative Learning Center
Brothers David and Roger Johnson (authors of LEARNING TOGETHER AND ALONE and many other books on cooperative learning) direct this center, which studies cooperative learning and provides information about it. Both are professors at the University of Minnesota and have studied cooperative learning for decades. Essays on developments pioneered by the Cooperative Learning Center.

Cooperative Learning Elementary Lessons
Cooperative-learning activities and lessons provided by subject area for grades kindergarten through fifth.

Collaborative Learning Project, England
Supports cooperative network of teaching professionals throughout the European Union for inclusive education and accessible teaching materials for all grades.

Derry Cooperative School District
This school focuses on creating a safe and successful learning environment for all students using cooperative learning.

Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Institute includes a variety of programs in visual and media arts, with entrance possible via a Prior Learning Assessment. Allows highly individualized studies through cooperative learning, student exchange programs, internships, and directed studies.

Interdisciplinary, activity-oriented curriculum captures the 150-year struggle of American women for the vote; includes cooperative learning, awareness activities, writing, art, music, and drama.

MeasureNet Technology Ltd
Encourages cooperative learning for laboratories using Teaching/Learning Aid - Learning equipment.

Molholm Elementary School
Educational methods include cooperative learning, team building, and the well-known Success For All reading program.

Virginia DeBolt's Web Site
Virginia DeBolt is the author of four books for teachers published by Kagan Cooperative Learning. The books contain writing lessons and ideas using cooperative-learning activities. Her site provides further information.

WPI Career Development Center: Cooperative Education Program
This program involves non-credit, paid work opportunities in which students practice developing technical skills.


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