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by David W. Johnson, Roger T. Johnson and Edythe Johnson Holubec
Table of Contents
As we've said, any lesson at any grade level can be structured cooperatively. All classes can have a mixture of cooperative formal, informal, and base groups and can use cooperative learning scripts to different degrees. A typical class session consists of a base group meeting, a short lecture or a group project, and an ending base group meeting. The instructor formally starts the class by welcoming the students and instructing them to meet in their base groups for the introduction and warm-up task. The teacher then has three choices. She can (1) give a lecture using informal cooperative learning groups, (2) have students complete an assignment in formal cooperative learning groups, or (3) present a short lecture and assign a short group assignment. At the end of the class session students meet in their base groups to summarize and synthesize what they have learned. This structure keeps students intellectually and emotionally tuned in to the work at hand and school in general.
An example of the integrated use of the types of cooperative learning is as follows. Students arriving in class in the morning gather in base groups to do a self-disclosure task (such as answering the question, “what is each member's favorite television show?”), check each other's homework to make sure all members understand the academic material and are prepared for the day, and tell each other to have a great day.
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