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Positive effects on professional and social learning

The extent to which cooperative learning has positive effects on professional and social learning has been addressed by researchers from the University of Erfurt and the University of Wroclaw (Poland). The results are now available and accessible to everyone in the form of a publication.

"In our empirical study, we investigated the question of how individual aspects of teacher professionalism (e.g. pedagogical knowledge and beliefs) are related to the use of cooperative teaching/learning forms within class," explains Prof. Dr. Susanne Jurkowski, holder of the Chair for Inclusive Educational Processes with a focus on Emotional and Social Development at the Faculty of Education.

Cooperative learning is an evidence-based teaching strategy. It involves teachers structuring the interactions of students and preparing them for collaboration so that they can work together in small groups and support each other in their learning processes. The present study has now examined whether the empirical evidence for the effectiveness of cooperative learning is reflected in the professional competencies of teachers and their teaching practice. Susanne Jurlkowski explains: "We interviewed 1,495 language teachers in Poland and recorded their knowledge of cooperative learning and its application in the classroom. Amazing: Although the teachers were well informed about the principles of cooperative learning, they knew only a few methods to implement cooperative learning in class". The respondents agreed that cooperative learning is effective for students' academic and social learning and can provide individual support for their learning processes. Despite this conviction, teachers rarely use cooperative learning. When they use cooperative learning, they organise and support student interactions in accordance with the principles of cooperative learning. The teachers also indicated that they would like to learn more about cooperative learning and use it more often in class. They were particularly interested in support such as teaching examples and teaching materials.

The next step will be to discuss the results with regard to their impact on teacher education.

Further information / contact:
Prof. Dr. Susanne Jurkowski
Tel.: +49 361 737-2261