ERIC Number: ED437217
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Motivating Middle Grades Students Using a Cooperative Learning Approach.
Corder, Gregory W.
Noting that lack of student motivation is one of the primary reasons students drop out of school and that lack of student motivation is particularly evident at the onset of adolescence, this study compared multidimensional motivation gains of middle school students who were heterogeneously grouped according to motivational level to gains of those who were grouped homogeneously. It was hypothesized that in a cooperative learning activity, peer pressure would cause students with lower motivation to become more motivated when working in a peer group of higher motivated students. Participating in the study were 43 students in 2 sixth-grade language arts classrooms. Students participated in a word study cooperative grouping activity 20 minutes each day for 8 weeks. At the end of each 2-week block, students were tested individually on their assigned list of words. The groups were awarded points for favorable behavior, activity completion, and improved test scores. Group point standings were posted on a classroom chart. Three- to four-person student groups were established based on motivational level as measured with the Multidimensional Motivation Instrument (MMI). The MMI was re-administered at the end of the 8-week activity. The findings of this inquiry indicated there was no distinction between the multidimensional motivation increase of heterogeneously and homogeneously grouped students. There was an increase among most students of multi-dimensional motivation and academic performance. It is possible to conclude that academic and multidimensional motivation improvements were a function of the cooperative activity and not the specific grouping strategy. (Contains 28 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A