Explicit/implicit training of cooperative learning with junior elementary students /
Mitchell, Susan C.
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This experimental study examined the effects of cooperative learning and expliciUimpliGit instruction on student achievement and attitudes toward working in cooperative groups. Specifically, fourth- and fifth-grade students (n=48) were randomly assigned to two conditions: cooperative learning with explicit instruction and cooperative learning with implicit instruction. All participants were given initial training either explicitly or implicitly in cooperative learning procedures via 10 one-hour sessions. Following the instruction period, all students participated in completing a group project related to a famous artists unit. It was hypothesized that the explicit instruction training would enhance students' scores on the famous artists test and the group projects, as well as improve students' attitudes toward cooperative learning. Although the explicit training group did not achieve significantly higher scores on the famous artists test, significant differences were found in group project results between the explicit and implicit groups. The explicit group also exhibited more favourable and positive attitudes toward cooperative learning. The findings of this study demonstrate that combining cooperative learning with explicit instruction is an effective classroom strategy and a useful practice for presenting and learning new information, as well as working in groups with success.