Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it.
Cooperative efforts result in participants striving for mutual benefit so that all group members:
Research has shown that cooperative learning techniques:
It is only under certain conditions that cooperative efforts may be expected to be more productive than competitive and individualistic efforts. Those conditions are:
Class Activities that use Cooperative Learning
David and Roger Johnson. "Cooperative Learning." [Online] 15 October 2001. <http://www.clcrc.com/pages/cl.html>.
David and Roger Johnson. "An Overview of Cooperative Learning." [Online] 15 October 2001. <http://www.clcrc.com/pages/overviewpaper.html>.
Howard Community College's Teaching Resources. "Ideas on Cooperative Learning and the use of Small Groups." [Online] 15 October 2001. <http://www.howardcc.edu/profdev/resources/learning/groups1.htm>.
Kagan, S. Kagan Structures for Emotional Intelligence. Kagan Online Magazine. 2001, 4(4). http://www.kaganonline.com/Newsletter/index.html
Kagan, Spencer. Cooperative Learning. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Publishing, 1994. www.KaganOnline.com
 Most of these structures are developed by Dr. Spencer Kagan and his associates at Kagan Publishing and Professional Development. For resources and professional development information on Kagan Structures, please visit: www.KaganOnline.com