Date of Award

Winter 1-23-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Younkyeong Nam

Abstract

According to the National Education Association, students need to be prepared to be contributing members in global society (2012). Therefore, students need to learn how to collaborate and communicate with peers in a group. So far, competition has been prevalent in the academics of the United States (Shindler, 2009). Cooperative learning provides a teaching approach based on group success. Furthermore, there is a plethora of benefits from the use of cooperative learning in the science classroom. It promotes psychological health and high academic achievement (Johnson, Johnson & Roseth, 2010; Mesch, Johnson and Johnson, 2001). Cooperative learning is also a good approach for student centered learning. When students are able to effectively engage and interact with each other, they can learn from and teach each other with minimal assistance from the teacher. In a country where inclusive education is being pushed, it is important to have strategies that work for diverse learners. Cooperative learning works well for a variety of learners (Jones & Sterling, 2011; Lin, 2006).

There are five components which must be present in a lesson for it to be considered cooperative learning. These components are positive interdependence, promotive interaction, individual accountability, interpersonal skills, and group processing. These components are used to ensure genuine cooperation between students (Johnson, Johnson & Houlbec, 1994).

This project consists of 10 lesson plans that apply cooperative learning to the New York State Living Environment course. Each lesson is based on concepts from the NYS Living Environment Core Curriculum, but they also incorporate cooperative learning to facilitate a deep understanding of the concepts.

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