Convincing your Head to think about Cooperative Learning #1

To many, Cooperative Learning just seems too good to be true. Although research documenting the effectiveness of CL is extremely copious, I’ve therefore spent some time looking for a well-organised, well-documented and concise summary that can be used to present the case.

This short paper contains the material practical-minded head teacher or colleague would be looking for when vetting a new teaching method for implementation. It was written in 2002 for the US-based IDEA Center – “a nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve colleges and universities committed to improving learning, teaching, and leadership performance”, but is fully applicable to primary and secondary education elsewhere. 

PDF: Idea paper – Enhancing Learning — and More! — Through Cooperative Learning



Some catchy headline titles include: The Premises Underlying Cooperative Learning, Theory and Research, Effective Cooperative Learning Experiences and Conducting the Cooperative Classroom, from which the following quote has been taken:

Much of the well-intentioned literature on higher education 
reform tends to be theoretical and exhortative: ‘‘Use active 
learning techniques;’’ ‘‘Be responsive in the classroom;’’ 
‘‘Promote respect for diversity;’’ “Foster critical thinking.” 
Too often such challenges leave faculty with a sense of 
schizophrenic overload, feeling almost like an early Picasso 
with eyes, ears, and mouth — to say nothing of brain! —
permanently askew. How can they respond simultaneously 
and responsibly to these multiple demands? Inserting 
new elements into existing courses without a clear sense 
of purpose, commitment, or competence can result 
in a half-hearted ‘‘Band-Aid’’ approach. 

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? You might be able to guess her solution for it, though, and, hopefully, so will your Head.


Also check Convincing your Head to think about Cooperative Learning #2

5 thoughts on “Convincing your Head to think about Cooperative Learning #1

Add yours

  1. Thank you for an excellent resource. I’m pushing my own school in this direction, but I need an even more concise pitch list that can really be skimmed in 2 minutes. Do you have a link?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: