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Chapter image Chapter 3: Strategy 1: Cooperative group teaching

Self Evaluation

Please rate yourself or a teacher you have closely observed.




  1.  Employs cooperative group teaching

You regularly use cooperative group teaching in which all learners work together in small learning groups of 6 to 8, helping each other to carry out individual and group tasks. Groups are usually mixed ability, but are sometimes comprised of learners with similar ability. You teach group process skills and carefully supervise group interactions.


Mitchell, 2014, pp35–46.

  1. In most lessons you use co-operative group activities.
  2. You use a combination of (a) mutual assistance groups in which learners are encouraged to help individuals to carry out tasks, and (b) ‘jig-saw’ type groups in which all learners contribute to a group task.
  3. Mostly, groups are comprised of learners with mixed abilities.
  4. You teach group process skills and carefully supervise group activities.
  1. All the indicators are regularly met.
  2. You occasionally use both forms of cooperative group activities with ability groups and mixed-ability groups.
  3. You occasionally use mutual assistance groups.
  4. None of the indicators are met.

YouTubeYouTube links

Classroom management through cooperative groups. (1.44 US)

A teacher and students in a third grade maths class describe the benefits of cooperative group learning.


Where cooperative learning works: Increasing classroom interaction and integrating skills. (43.46 US)

This video shows how to use cooperative learning in an ESL or EFL class to increase classroom interaction, foster learner autonomy and improve students’ social communication and teamwork skills.


Does ‘group work’ work?: Is it the best way for children to learn? (27.58 Canada)

A panel discusses the goals of group work and the differences between that and cooperative learning. Why is it the source of so much frustration for learners? When does group work actually work well and when doesn’t it? How does it prepare learners for their adult lives? And how does it affect achievement?


Effective small group differentiated instruction. (6.44 US)

This video is intended to help teachers with management of their classrooms to provide an effective learning environment for their middle school students. Administrators can also use this video to provide staff development to their staff, helping them with classroom management and discipline. This video emphasizes organization, routines and procedures.


websitesWeb links

Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T. and Stanne, M.B. (2000). Cooperative learning methods: A meta-analysis.

An extensive search found 164 studies investigating eight cooperative learning methods. The studies yielded 194 independent effect sizes representing academic achievement. All eight cooperative learning methods had a significant positive impact on student achievement.


The tracking and ability grouping debate. Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.

Tracking and ability grouping strategies differ widely from school to school. They diverge even more widely from their portrayal in the popular criticisms of the 1980s. This report digs into the sensitive matter of whether those criticisms are valid today.


journalsJournal links

Hornby, G. (2009). ‘The effectiveness of cooperative learning with trainee teachers’. Journal of Education for Teaching: International research and pedagogy, 35(2), 161–168.

Findings support the suggestion that to achieve optimum effectiveness, individual accountability and positive interdependence should be built into cooperative learning activities.