ERIC Number: ED422304
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-13
From Dependence toward Independence via Interdependence.
Geary, William T.
This ethnographic study examined conditions affecting how six elementary teachers who were involved in an ongoing inservice program embraced, comprehended, and applied elements of classroom management via cooperative learning. The study described factors that helped and hindered their attempts. Data collection included site visits with observations, questionnaires, individual interviews, and focus group discussions. The study lasted for 1 year, with data collected before, during, and after staff development sessions that helped them implement cooperative learning. Data analysis indicated that teacher beliefs and practices changed, but relatively little. The participants believed in cooperative learning before the study began. As the year progressed, they used it more often, were more confident in their practices, and were clearer about which teaching method and relevant classroom management techniques to use at any given time. Teachers' beliefs, more than theories, affected their choices regarding grouping of students, pedagogy, and classroom management. At times, teachers made choices about handling student behavior that seemingly contradicted what they were trying to do in terms of supporting student growth toward greater independence. The paper defines several relevant terms (cooperative learning, peer tutoring, cooperative structures, and collaborative learning), explaining how they help students become independent. It also examines levels of independence; different purposes and applications of cooperative learning; power, equality, and cooperation; critical thinking; and three essentials of cooperative learning. (Contains approximately 123 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).