Assessment of the impact of training in cooperative learning in ITE (Initial Teacher Education)

McAlister, Clare (2010) Assessment of the impact of training in cooperative learning in ITE (Initial Teacher Education). In: SERA Conference 2010, 2010-11-25 - 2010-11-26. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Aims: Assessment of the impact of training in cooperative learning in ITE. This study explored the confidence students had in delivering cooperative learning strategies in the classroom as a result of experiential training through their Curriculum and Pedagogy (C&P) module during their ITE year. Method: All students were trained in cooperative learning techniques in every C&P session. Students were issued with open ended questionnaires at the end of each placement as a means of tracking changes in confidence, and willingness, to engage in delivering cooperative learning in the classroom. This is a progressive study that will follow participating students through their Induction year. Main Findings: Participants were trained in cooperative learning techniques in every session of their C&P, including placemat, jigsaw and carousel techniques (Kagan & Kagan, 2009; Johnson et al, 1994). Supportive teams worked together to create resources. The aim was to develop skills in active learning that were inclusive and have been shown to be effective through research (Gillies, 2000; Johnson, 1993; Johnson, 1985; Kagan & Kagan, 2009 and Slavin, 1984). The current findings show that many students felt confident and supported in delivering active learning and regarded their training as a bonus during ITE. Students stressed that their confidence came from having actually been engaged in cooperative learning in their C&P activities. Conclusions: The conclusions in this study to date are that engaging students in this way during ITE supports them in delivering effective active learning in the classroom. Students benefitted from the supportive groups that were established through their training and the teambuilding activities that took place. In some instances students have been asked to share their knowledge with departments