Date of Award

Spring 1993

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Patricia E. Baker

Second Advisor

Benita Jorkasky

Third Advisor

Patricia E. Baker


Cooperative learning has become a growing trend among instructional methods in the classroom. The development of social and emotional skills is essential for students who graduate into civic society and the workplace. Through the placing of students into small heterogenous groups of two to six members, the method allows for the growth of social competence and communication skills. To discover the effects of cooperative learning on the socialization of children, the author conducted a survey of elementary teachers in the Rochester City School District which is in the process of restructuring its teaching strategies to better meet the needs of its student population. Participants were asked about the use of cooperative learning in the classroom, as well as their attitudes towards the method’s effectiveness in improving social relationships between students, students and teachers, and students and outside adults. The results were analyzed according to the amount of time cooperative learning was used in the classroom, the size of the class, and by grade level. The author found that cooperative learning had the strongest influence in the overall success of student socialization and on the improvement of student-peer relationships. The amount of time spent used with the method does impact the degree to which it is successful. The size of the class did not appear to have a strong influence on the method’s effectiveness. While there is some difference in perception by grade level, the majority of respondents find collaborative learning to be at least a moderate success. The author recommends the greater use of cooperative learning methods.