ERIC Number: ED430180
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
An Investigation into Empowering Students through Cooperative Learning.
Sullivan, Anna M.; King, Leonard
This paper reports research into the effectiveness of cooperative social support groups as a means of empowering students to solve their own personal and social problems. A descriptive study using ethnographic techniques was used in the natural setting of one fifth-grade elementary school classroom. Theoretical framework involves the interconnection between achievement motivation and affiliative motivation; specifically, this paper provides a microanalysis of student perceptions and student interactions within a cooperative learning context and relates to the use of base groups to enhance student empowerment. Base groups, a cooperative learning structure of three or four students, were established by the teacher for a period of 1 year. Purposes of the groups were: (1) to provide support for students to solve personal and social problems; (2) to provide a structure for teaching and to reinforce social and cooperative skills. Results are presented under three headings: (1) prevailing antecedents toward the use of base groups; (2) students' perceptions of base groups; and (3) outcomes from the use of base groups. Findings establish that base groups facilitate student empowerment, particularly as students are enabled to solve their own personal and social problems as the need arises. Recommendations for teachers establishing base groups are presented. (Contains 31 references.) (EMK)
Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment), Cooperation, Elementary School Students, Foreign Countries, Group Dynamics, Humanistic Education, Intermediate Grades, Interpersonal Competence, Learning Strategies, Resilience (Personality), Social Behavior, Social Environment, Social Support Groups, Student Empowerment
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).