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Abigail Adams told her son Quincy that learning math, science, and literature are of little value unless the person also develops virtue, honor, truth,


    1 Summer Schedule For Training Session ? Public Education in a Democracy

    2 Cooperative Learning And Conflict Resolution SIGs ? Teamwork And Taskwork

    3 New Address For IBC ? Web Site:

    The Newsletter of

    The Cooperative

    Learning Institute

    Volume 24 • Issue 1

    The Cooperative LinkMarch, 2009

    Cooperative Learning

     Editors: David W. Johnson, Roger T. Johnson, Edythe Holubec

     and (c) provide citizens the knowledge

    they need for national economic

    development and prosperity.

    A similar emphasis existed in higher Greetings! It has been another good David W Johnson & Roger T Johnson

    education. The colonial college year for cooperative learning. The

    focused on building students’ international interest in cooperative Thomas Jefferson and many other

    character and preparing them for civic learning continues to grow. We have founders of American democracy

    and religious leadership. Teaching was trained educators and psychologists in believed that public schools were

    viewed as a sacred calling honored as Canada, Hong Kong, Spain, Germany, indispensible for creating competent,

    highly as the ministry. Students were and Poland. active, and engaged citizens/leaders.

    entrusted to faculty tutors who were Jefferson believed that schools should

    responsible for their intellectual, moral, We continue to host visiting scholars cultivate “virtue” and patriotism.

    and spiritual development. from different countries (Germany, Samuel Adams believed teachers were

     Italy) who are doing research on responsible for nurturing a “moral

    In the last three decades of the 19th cooperative learning. sense” in students. Abigail Adams told

    century, Colonel Frances Parker, her son Quincy that learning math,

    perhaps the leading American In last summer’s training session, we science, and literature are of little

    educator of the time, advocated the had a great group of people from all value unless the person also develops

    view that schools were responsible for over the world as well as North virtue, honor, truth, and integrity.

    teaching students an intense devotion America and teachers from all age

    to freedom, democracy, and groups, kindergarten to university The founders believed that a free

    individuality. He viewed mutual level. All of you who were here are republic was the most powerful form

    responsibility as the great, central invited back. of government but also the most

    principle of democracy. He believed fragile, because it requires a virtuous

    that the two major motivations for The summer institute is July 27-30. citizenry who can balance their

    learning were (a) the inherent joy in We are expecting another group of personal needs with those of the

    gaining competence and discovering cooperative learning scholars to gather republic as a whole. The majority of

    the "truth" and (b) using what one in Minneapolis. We would love to see the people must be committed to

    learned to help others. In essence, he you there. doing what is best for the nation as a

    would ask students two questions: whole. The founders of the United

    “What have you learned?” and “How We wish you the best in your States thus created universal, state-

    have you used it to help your implementation of cooperative supported and locally governed public

    classmates?” Parker believed that learning. Hang in there! schooling to (a) instill moral and

    students would fully develop their ethical values in American children

    capacities only if cooperative learning Roger and David and youth, (b) ensure the American

    was encouraged and competition and people would be responsible citizens,



    individualistic efforts were eliminated competencies include communicating common culture is one of the goals of as motives in school tasks. Following effectively and building and any school. in Parker’s footsteps, in the first half maintaining trust. There are also thof the 20 Century John Dewey used attitudes that students need to develop, The Other Side of the Report Card his project method of instruction to such as a love of learning and Cognitive learning usually refers to stress the social and emotional aspects commitment to being a responsible conceptualizing and intellectual of learning and prepare students for citizen. Schools are more successful functioning (i.e., the understanding problem solving and democratic living. when students care about their and retention of subject matter classmates and enjoy their educational knowledge and related skills such as experiences. Essentialist View Of Education how to read and do math problems). Social-emotional learning then refers In the past several decades, however, a Fifth, children and adolescents need to to everything that is not cognitive, major enemy of traditional American be socialized into the role of “student” such as feelings, attitudes, values, education has been the essentialist before cognitive learning can take interpersonal skills, work habits, and view (known as the “back to basics place. This includes learning moral character. These variables are movement in the 1970s) that education appropriate work habits, such as known as “the other side of the should limit itself to basic subject completing work on time and using report card.” matter (such as reading, math, and time wisely. science) that is measurable by This dichotomy between cognitive and standardized tests. The essentialist Finally, there are values underlying social and emotional learning is emphasis is on motivating students American democracy that schools misleading for several reasons. First, through personal economic gain rather are responsible for inculcating. to teach any concept, principle, or than through becoming contributing Students are supposed to learn to theory is to teach not only for its citizens of a democratic society. value a pluralistic and democratic comprehension but also for an society, freedom of choice, equality attitude toward it. Teaching students What advocates of essentialism ignore of opportunity, equality before the to read, for example, is of little use is that knowledge without virtue and law, the importance of being a unless students also learn to enjoy, integrity is dangerous and a potential participating citizen, free and open appreciate, and value reading. menace to society. If schools graduate inquiry into all problems, self- brilliant but dishonest people, reliance, a lack of ethnic prejudice, Second, the processes by which individuals who have great knowledge and the joy of creativity and the instruction is conducted creates but who do not care about others, or possibilities of entrepreneurism. social and emotional outcomes individuals who are great thinkers but regardless of the teacher’s intentions. who are irresponsible, society is Seeing cognitive and social-emotional Teachers may focus on teaching harmed rather than benefitted. learning as a dichotomy results in math concepts and procedures, but teachers having a false choice of whether they use cooperative, Diversity And Common Culture emphasizing one or the other. When competitive, or individualistic teachers wish to appropriately The increasing diversity of public learning procedures affects students’ integrate cognitive and social schools requires an emphasis on goals attitudes, values, social skills, and emotional learning, there are several such as reducing prejudice and relationships simultaneously with steps they need to take. Four of the creating positive attitudes toward their academic learning. steps are: diversity. Students from markedly different cultures and backgrounds Third, many courses, such as drug 1. Creating a cooperative context. often attend the same school and, education and multicultural education, therefore, the school has to create a are aimed at changing attitudes and 2. Promoting positive relationships common culture that binds all values as well as teaching cognitive with peers and faculty. members of the school together. knowledge. 3. Teaching students essential In addition, faculty and students must Fourth, there are many social and interpersonal and small group share a common culture that includes emotional characteristics that are skills, especially the skills for a common language, a large body of important for students to develop resolving conflicts constructively. commonsense knowledge, and a independently from specific subject similar knowledge of cultural heroes, matter. Personal competencies include 4. Promoting the development of popular tastes, and everyday customs understanding and managing emotions moral character. and conversations. Creating this and acquiring self-motivation and persistence. Interpersonal



    Cooperative Context People who are unable to establish others’ success as well as one’s own

    acceptable relationships, tend to and to the common good as well as A cooperative context exists when develop considerable anxiety, prosocial behavior and a concern for individuals share common goals (i.e., depression, frustration, and alienation. the well being of others. Competition positive goal interdependence) have a There are so many negative tends to promote striving to get more common fate (i.e., what happens to consequences of being disconnected of something than others and that the one member will happen to all and alienated from peers. natural way of life involves depriving members), and share a common others from the fruits of winning and culture. This is often described as a Teaching Students Social Skills opposing and obstructing the success learning community, in which of others. The moral orientation in members share common goals and The third key component of social and individualistic situations is based on values. The school community is emotional learning is to teach students strict self-interest. made up of the faculty and staff, the the interpersonal and small group students, their parents, members of the skills they need to interact effectively

    neighborhood, and other stakeholders with other people. The skills include

    in the school. communication, trust-building,

     leadership, decision making, goal Andrea Bertucci, David W. Johnson & The key to establishing a cooperative setting, social influence skills, and Roger T. Johnson context is cooperative learning. especially conflict resolution skills. Cooperative learning tends to increase Social skills are highly important for When students work in cooperative effort to achieve, positive relationships, (a) cognitive and social development, groups their efforts include both and psychological health. Cooperative (b) career success, and (c) general well taskwork and teamwork. Taskwork is learning experiences result in more being. the academic assignment. Teamwork accurate perspective taking and consists of the social skills needed to empathy, higher levels of cognitive The skills for resolving conflicts work effectively as part of a group. and moral reasoning, an identity as a constructively are especially important. What makes cooperative learning moral person, the inclusion of all Students need to master the more complex than individualistic schoolmates in one’s moral constructive controversy procedure learning is that students initially have community, and seeing all and the problem-solving negotiations to learn how to work as part of a team schoolmates as deserving of justice. and peer mediation procedures (i.e., simultaneously with completing Teaching Students To Be academic assignments. Peacemakers). Promoting Positive Relationships In a recent study by Andrea Bertucci, There are two ways to discuss the th7Promoting Moral Character -grade students in Sardinia who had importance of positive relationships: never worked in cooperative groups what is gained by being involved in Moral character depends on before were assigned to individualistic such relationships and what is lost internalizing moral characteristics learning, learning in pairs, or learning when such relationships do not exist. such as (a) frequent prosocial actions, in groups of four. During the first two (b) accurate perspective taking, and (c) sessions, students learning Children, adolescents, and young moral identity. Prosocial children tend individualistically outperformed adults need supportive and caring to build positive relationships with students learning in groups of four. By friends. Friends give a person a peers, enjoy positive wellbeing, and rdththe 3 and 4 sessions the two groups developmental advantage. Supportive influences how a person thinks of thperformed about the same. On the 5 and caring relationships are essential him- or herself (i.e., moral-identity). thand 6 sessions, students in the groups for (a) physical health (b) Accurate perspective taking enhances of four significantly outperformed the psychological health, (c) personal individuals’ ability to respond to individualistic students. Sometimes identity, (d) social, cognitive, and others' needs with empathy, teachers have to wait while students moral development, (e) coping with compassion, and support. Moral learn teamwork procedures and skills stress and adversity, (f) meaning and identity involves seeing oneself as a before they see the higher quality of life, (g) self-actualization, moral person, with character, who acts achievement characteristic of and (h) career success. with integrity. cooperative learning.

    People who are connected with others There are value systems that are

    live longer than isolated people do in inherently taught just by being in a

    every age and ethnic/racial group and cooperative, competitive, or Members of the American Educational across all diseases. individualistic situations. Cooperation Research Association should make

     tends to promote a commitment to sure they are members of the



    Cooperative Learning and the

    Conflict Resolution Special Interest

    Groups. Minneapolis, Minnesota July 27 to July 30 Interaction Book Company is at: Foundations Of Cooperative Learning 5028 Halifax Ave. S. Creative Conflict (Teaching Students Edina, MN 55424 To Be Peacemakers, Constructive Chinese edition o f Circles of (952) 831-9500; FAX: (952) 831-9332 Controversy) Learning thFoundations Leadership Training 8 Edition of Cooperation in the


    Contact: Linda Johnson, Arabic Edition, Cooperation in the

    Interaction Book Company Classroom David received the 2008 rd(952) 831-9500, FAX: (952) 831-9332 3 Edition, Creative Controversy: Distinguished Contributions to; Trainer’s Manual Research in Education Award from Chinese Edition, Meaningful and the American Educational Research Manageable Assessment Association. The award is given to honor a meritorious contributor to educational research; its purpose is to publicize, motivate, encourage, and

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    research at its best. Interaction Book Company

    5028 Halifax Ave. S.

    Edina, MN 55424

    (952) 831-9500

    FAX: (952) 831-9332


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