ERIC Number: ED216981
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Learning the Concept of Interdependence: A Study in Two Dimensions.
Jongewaard, Steven M.
This study determined if students have a better understanding of the components of interdependence when they use instructional materials which emphasize a systems approach, when they work cooperatively in a group, and when the classroom environment fosters both of the above variables. For the purpose of this study, a working definition of interdependence was developed. Students with a working definition of interdependence comprehend the concept of systems, view the world as being comprised of systems, and value working cooperatively. Three hypotheses are that there will be a significant effect on students learning the concept of interdependence when a sequenced unit on interdependence is taught, when students engage in a cooperative interdependent learning process, and when the above systems approach curriculum is taught in a cooperative environment. Four sixth-grade social studies classes in a city school composed of randomly assigned students and teachers took part in this study. Two experimental groups studied materials focusing on a systems interdependence approach published by the Center for Global Perspectives; two control groups studied a traditional social studies textbook published by Laidlaw. Two classes worked in cooperative groups, while students in the other two classes worked individually. Also, variables described above were combined in classes (i.e., a systems approach was taught in both a cooperative and noncooperative environment). Four tests were administered to students to measure their understanding of interdependence, preferences for a cooperative or individualistic study environment, and their ethnocentrism. Results obtained in the study support the content, cooperative, and interaction hypotheses. (Detailed limitations, conclusions, and implications are provided.) (NE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Detroit, MI, November 1981).