In today world, education has supposed to enable students to meet expectations of the business environment and of daily living. In other words, education receiving in primary, secondary, high schools and colleges should provide students with some opportunities regarding social skills apart from knowledge about their courses because in recent years , almost all people have received high level education and they have had wide knowledge they need in business life. However, most of these people have difficulty in communicating their ideas or thoughts to other people.
This situation is critical for not only business life but also aily living. Thus, lately, new practices have been taken by some teachers in several schools. One of such practices is cooperative learning. Cooperative learning is described as a way that is used for effective learning. It enables students to gain experience sharing responsibility with each other. Therefore, “ cooperative learning is grounded in the belief that learning is most effective when students are actively involved in sharing ideas and work cooperatively to complete academic tasks.
Cooperative learning has been used as both an instructional method and as learning tool at various level of education and in various subject areas. ( Johnson & Johnson, 1994, p. 36). Whereas cooperative learning is regarded as the most effective way to not only gain information but also acquire some social skills such as impressive communication , social adaptation by several people , others consider that this way has some drawbacks such as the lack of individual accountability on some groups that study cooperatively.
However, it is told that the advantages of cooperative learning outweigh the drawbacks of it. Thus, the method of cooperative learning should be more prevalent in all grades. One of the benefits of cooperative learning is positive interdependence. It means that if A person in a group is successful; this situation affects the success of the other group members positively. Thanks to this element of cooperative learning, students participating in group activities consider that for group aims, it is necessary that all group members put in efforts.
The second one is face to face promotive interaction. This enables learners to engage in activities that promote each other to learn by helping each other , sharing their resources, giving feedbacks. Consequently, these elements not only develop better social skill but also help students develop the skills necessary to work on group projects. Johnson & Johnson, 1989). Moreover, cooperative learning has enabled students to improve their performance, increase their motivation ,improve their social skills and increase their satisfaction.
Almost all students suffer from some problems in class atmosphere. These can be lack of motivation through some lessons or shyness in the case of attending a lesson actively ;however, if in such lessons , cooperative activities are applied, students may have tendency to engage in such lesson’s activities since cooperative practices generally enable students to share their thoughts ith each other , improve their social skills and equally increase their satisfaction.
There are some potential drawbacks of cooperative learning. Drawbacks include the free rider problem, resistance to group-based grading by both instructors and students and problems configuring teams. ” (Brown and Klein, 2004, p. 18). One of the problems regarding cooperative learning is free rider problem. It is a well known fact that cooperative learning is required to small groups consisting of the least two people and whereas some of them is regularly participate in group activities and fulfill their tasks properly , others may take dvantage of their groups’ friends doing and they may unfairly attain high grades.
Additionally, team configuration is another issue for students who will form a group. The reason why team configuration is a problem for group members is variability among them. This situation can create a considerable amount of work for teachers or instructors. Students who have priorities regarding their group composition also generally go against the team configuration. As a result of these problems, teachers may evaluate the amount of effort each students put in. these can be taken some personal tests to all students and anting a presentation regarding students’ group works to each ones. Johnson,1991). In conclusion, cooperative learning brings about some changes in teaching A techniques.
For example, in several schools, teachers have started to apply student centered learning techniques , instead of teacher centered approach in their courses. This provides students favourable opportunities to attend their lessons actively ,and equally show enterprise for their future circles. Thus, “Teachers should give less emphasis on students’ acquisition of information, presenting scientific and mathematical knowledge through lecture, asking for ecitation of acquired knowledge and working alone.
More emphasis should be given on students understanding of a particular concept, guiding students in active learning, providing opportunities for discussion and elaboration and encouraging them to work with peers and teachers. ” ( Zakaria & Iksan, 2007, p. 38). In other words, although, cooperative learning can create some problem among students and teachers. It enables students to improve social, critical thinking, and creative skills. Therefore, teachers should take into account students social group works instead of the level of information or knowledge regarding their lessons.