Cooperative learning in mathematics

The Importance of Cooperative Learning in Mathematics

cooperative learning in mathematics

How to Teach Math as a Social Activity


Finding a resource that explores cooperative learning is easy, but many ignore strategies for delivering the teaching approach. Despite this, the pedagogy is popular in classrooms across districts and grade levels , creating a need for tips and information that teachers can act upon. Below is a guide that covers general principles and specific strategies to use for each of the three types of cooperative learning. Instead of a noun, think of cooperative learning as a verb. Sometimes called collaborative learning, it is delivering instruction through small groups, empowering students to work together to build their understanding of topics and concepts.

Cooperative learning is a learning and teaching style that contrasts greatly with traditional direct instruction. In direct instruction, the teacher completes a math example for the class, then works with the class, and finally the students try it on their own. With cooperative learning, the students start the problem and work it out together. The teacher then provides closure, after students have presented their ideas and shown how they have connected the ideas and added academic vocabulary. According to my review of the research, fewer students can access the content using direct instruction and usually forget it quickly. Cooperative learning provides opportunities for productive struggle, in which students learn from their mistakes through explanations from their peers and teacher. The classroom environment must be such that students feel safe to make mistakes.

The Guide to Cooperative Learning: Principles and Strategies for Each Type

In this article, Elbert Chu describes an ideal math environment where students are engaged in meaningful, cooperative learning in mathematics that includes math projects and workshops. From examining which equations underlie the popular game Angry Birds to analyzing sports statistics, students choose projects to work on in small groups that challenge their understanding and application of math., Cooperative learning is more elaborate than group work activity.

Cooperative Learning Techniques

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Cooperative learning is deemed highly desirable because of its tendency to reduce peer competition and isolation, and to promote academic achievement and positive interrelationships. A benefit of cooperative learning, therefore, is to provide students with learning disabilities LD , who have math disabilities and social interaction difficulties, an instructional arrangement that fosters the application and practice of mathematics and collaborative skills within a natural setting i. According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics NCTM; , learning environments should be created that promote active learning and teaching; classroom discourse; and individual, small-group, and whole-group learning. Cooperative learning is one example of an instructional arrangement that can be used to foster active student learning, which is an important dimension of mathematics learning and highly endorsed by math educators and researchers. Students can be given tasks to discuss, problem solve, and accomplish. Cooperative learning activities can be used to supplement textbook instruction by providing students with opportunities to practice newly introduced or to review skills and concepts.

Using Cooperative Learning to Teach Mathematics to Students with Learning Disabilities






3 thoughts on “Cooperative learning in mathematics

  1. Thus, in cooperative learning groups with proper instruction and preparation (i.e., previous direct instruction on skills), students with math disabilities can benefit.

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