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March 2003 | Volume 60 | Number 6
Creating Caring Schools
Rachel A. Lotan
Carefully constructed group learning activities can foster students' academic and social growth and help close the achievement gap.
Many educators believe that group work and collaborative learning are effective in academically and linguistically heterogeneous classrooms, and the evidence for the academic and social benefits of these instructional strategies is substantial (Sharan, 1990; Slavin, 1983). Too few educators, however, understand the crucial design elements needed for successful group tasks. Some students who easily complete tasks designed for individuals may refuse to devote time and energy to building group cohesiveness or group consensus; others may openly resist making their grades dependent on the efforts (or lack thereof) of other members of their group. The teacher, therefore, must deliberately and carefully craft learning tasks that are “group-worthy.”
Such tasks have the following five design features:
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Copyright © 2003 by Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
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