The Role of Cooperative Learning in the Teaching of Community and Developmental Subjects: The Case of Teaching History at Secondary School Level
- Cooperative learning, Teaching, History, Students, Secondary school.
In this conceptual paper we argue the case for cooperative learning. Generally teachers have the option of structuring lessons competitively, individualistically, or cooperatively. Students can compete to see who is best, or work individualistically toward a goal without paying attention to other students, or work cooperatively with a vested interest in each other's learning as well as their own. From our experience as teachers and lecturers in the humanities, we observe that, of the three interaction patterns, competition is presently the most dominant. In most cases, the world over, students view schooling as a competitive enterprise where one tries to out-compete other students. Cooperation among students (celebrating each other’s successes; encouraging each other to do homework; learning to work together regardless of their ethnic backgrounds), is still rare. In this paper we therefore examine the role and effectiveness of cooperative learning in the teaching of History at secondary school level showing both its strengths and drawbacks. We start by defining selected important concepts in the paper before making an exposition of cooperative learning and its effectiveness in the teaching of History at secondary school level.