Let’s Have Cooperative Learning for Lessons!, pp. 7 of 11

Stage 1: Class Determines the Sub-topics and Organises into Research Groups

Teacher begins by presenting a multi-faceted and challenging issue or problem to the class. This problem is related to the curriculum or students’ lives or it can be a timely issue that is reported in the newspaper. The investigation aims to increase students’ understanding of the world around them. The teacher can provide a lecture or stimuli such as books, magazines, newspapers or videos to acquaint students with the problem and demonstrate the availability of materials for investigation. Students will then generate questions individually or in groups and all the questions will be written on the whiteboard by the teacher. Next, students will help teacher to categorise the questions into sub-topics and sign up for those which interest them.

Stage 2: Groups Plan Their Investigations

In their groups, students will pick the questions they would like to inquire into, determine the resources that they will need, the methods of investigation and the division of work. The teacher helps the groups to plan realistically, maintain cooperative norms and locate appropriate resources.

Stage 3: Groups Carry Out Their Investigations

During the investigation, students will collect the data or information from a variety of sources. Individual group members will organise and record their data and report their findings to their groups. The groups will then discuss and analyse their findings to determine whether they need more information. They will interpret and integrate their findings. The teacher helps students to develop study skills, explore sources, find new connections between the sources and maintain cooperative norms.   

Stage 4: Groups Plan Their Presentations

During the planning for the presentation, students bear in mind the following: emphasis of the main ideas and conclusions of the inquiry, active participation of every group member, observation of presentation time, active audience involvement, planning for question and answer session and getting materials ready. The teacher assists by coordinating the groups’ plans and ensuring every group member’s participation.

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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