Date of Award

12-1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Jeffery Linn

Abstract

This study examined the effects of cooperative learning instruction on forty seventh-grade students from a public middle school in Western New York. The students were divided into two groups: Group A and Group B. The students in Group A received the cooperative learning treatment, while students in Group B received no treatment, but worked in a traditional classroom environment.

Each student spent approximately nine weeks in either a class using cooperative learning strategies or one that did not. Each classroom is heterogeneously grouped. The cooperative learning strategies employed were a combination of techniques developed by Slavin,

Kagan, and Johnson and Johnson. Cooperative learning activities were incorporated three to four class periods per week. The cooperative learning groups were selected by the teacher. The groups consisted of the recommended combinations as directed by cooperative learning researchers, Johnson and Johnson. Each group remained the same throughout the nine week period. The non-treatment classroom was treated equally in regard to all assignments and materials covered.

Materials included two short stories, and two teacher-prepared reading comprehension tests. An independent t test for independent means at the .05 level of significance was used to determine the effects of cooperative learning. The results revealed that cooperative learning significantly increased students' reading comprehension. The findings, consistent with previous research, support the claim that cooperative learning facilitates comprehension of text.

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