M.S. in Teaching
Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education
College of Education
Academic achievement; Group work in education; Social interaction in children
Elementary Education and Teaching
The purpose of the study was to research whether student academic achievement and social acceptance of peers could be affected by cooperative learning instruction as opposed to a class where the students were not instructed using cooperative learning. The sample size of the experimental and control group was forty-six. The age of the group ranged from nine to eleven years of age. The sample was not randomly selected. Both classes were administered a pretest and posttest at the beginning of the study. The tests measured academic achievement and social acceptance. Both classes used the same textbook and supplementary materials. The main difference was the manner in which the students were grouped and instructed. The study lasted from the twenty-seventh of January to the thirteenth of April. At the conclusion of the research project the researcher administered a posttest. The posttest was the same test used as the pretest.
The scores from both sets of tests were calculated and the results were graphed. The scores from the academic achievement tests were analyzed using the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the t test. After the scores were analyzed the results revealed that there was no significant difference between the group that received the "treatment' and the class that did not receive that treatment. As for the students' social acceptance of peers test, the scores of both the pretest and posttest were subtracted. Then the entire class scores were averaged. The scores for both classes were compared and graphed. Again, there was no significant difference between the group scores.
The results of the tests did not support the hypothesis. There was not enough evidence to support the theory that cooperative learning instruction will increase student academic achievement and their social acceptance of one another. Perhaps if the researcher was not also the teacher there might have been a higher level of objectivity. This may or may not have affected the project. There was also a population within the sample that were not fourth grade level readers or in some cases third grade level readers. These students experienced difficulty when the tests were administered because they were not able to read the tests. Their scores were low, range (0-64), which contributed to the variance of the group. Possibly, future studies would allow supplementary assistance to groups that have this population.
Cooper, Natalie Ann, "Achievement and social status in the cooperative classroom" (1995). Theses and Dissertations. 2232.