Cooperative Learning in CTE
By: Melissa Leonard
Cooperative learning is a successful learning theory that addresses academic as well as social learning.

There are five basic elements of cooperative learning. These elements are
1. Positive Interdependence
2. Face-to-Face Interaction
3. Individual accountability
4. Social Skills (Group behaviors)
5. Group processing

Cooperative Learning
To keep students on task and keep activities organized, students may need to be assigned specific responsibilities. Team member roles should be clear and simple, yet give students specific responsibilities that are meaningful.
Examples of possible member roles include:
Organizer—provides organized structure of activities and processes for the group
Recorder—records important information for the group
Assessor—evaluates the progress and the work of the group
Timekeeper—keeps group on task and on time

Cooperative learning can be used in many different ways. Listed below are three ways in which I use it in my classroom.
1.Think-Pair-Share—A question is posed and students take time to think about an answer on their own. Next, they turn to a neighbor and share their ideas/answers. After discussing with their neighbor, individual students are asked to share their thoughts in front of the class.
2.Jigsaw II—Group members are responsible for learning and becoming “experts” on a specific topic. All “experts” in a given area work together and share their knowledge. Next, the experts go back to their original groups and share their knowledge with the group. Eventually, every member of the group learns all the topics and is evaluated based upon this information.
3.Numbered Heads Together—Students in a group are “numbered”. A question is posed and all members of the group discuss to come up with an answer. After the time limit, a number is called and each student in the group with that number stands to give the answer.

For a definition of cooperative learning and reasons why it should be used in the classroom, visit the following website

Teacher Resources on Cooperative Learning

Cooperative Learning Research Articles