Advantages & Disadvantages of Cooperative Learning

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So far, Units 1 & 2 have brought us to a deeper understanding of cooperative learning. We have been given a basic overview of cooperative learning, and what important characteristics are required in order for you to effectively utilize cooperative learning in your classroom. We have explored the differences between cooperative learning and group work, and the deeper learning that is involved with cooperative learning. In Unit 2, we continued to explore cooperative learning through videos, webpages, and tables. We watched videos where different cooperative learning strategies were utilized, and read up on some of the most widely used cooperative learning strategies. We related these strategies to our classrooms or content area, and began thinking of ways to utilize them. Lastly, we learned more about student roles during cooperative learning, and what these roles/jobs look like in different strategies.

In this unit, we are going to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of cooperative learning. While we have been talking about advantages and benefits of cooperative learning throughout, we will discuss in detail some more, and learn about teacher's fears associated with cooperative learning and things that could go wrong. Having knowledge of where potential downfalls are related to cooperative learning, will help us to determine ways to overcome these boundaries.

Why is This Unit Important?

This unit is important because before teaching a new strategy to your students, or teaching in a new way, it is important to realize where things could go wrong. Having knowledge of potential downfalls and having a toolbox full of ways to prevent or overcome these challenges, will help you to integrate cooperative learning more effectively. This unit will allow you to recognize why certain challenges may arise while you are teaching, and detail what you can do before the lessons, during the lessons, and after the lessons to help redirect your students and make your lessons successful.

What Should I Learn by the End of This Unit?

Unit 3 is made up of two mini lessons.

In the first lesson, you will read an article detailing advantages and disadvantages to cooperative learning. This lesson while mainly focus on describing advantages and disadvantages and teaching you why problems arise while teaching. This lesson will help you to get a deeper understanding of what to be aware of before teaching a cooperative learning lesson, and what to watch out for if things start to go down hill. Additionally, you will explore the positives and benefits to cooperative learning.

Link to Lesson 1

In the second lesson, you will build your toolbox and closely analyze the disadvantages of cooperative learning. Mainly, this lesson is going to focus on ways to overcome the downfalls that some educators have encountered. It will help you to successfully use cooperative learning in your classroom.

Link to Lesson 2

All Set? Let's go to Lesson 1: What Are the Pros & Cons?

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