SOCIAL SKILLS REQUIRED FOR COOPERATIVE LEARNING Essay

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To understand the skills necessary to achieve cooperative learning you first need to have a brief introduction to the subject of cooperative learning itself: Brody (1998) Cooperative learning most commonly refers to a method of instruction that organizes students to work in groups toward a common goal or outcome, or share a common problem or task in such a way that they can only succeed in completing the work through behavior that demonstrates interdependence while holding individual contributions and efforts accountable. (p. 6) In order for effective cooperative learning to occur five essential elements are needed; positive interdependence, face-to-face interactions, individual accountability, social skills and group …show more content…
302). Positive reinforcement allows the learners to gain a sense of confidence in the work they completed and recognizes the achievement the group made by working together to obtain their goal. The purpose of cooperative learning is to have a group of individuals interact with each other and utilize each member as a resource. Leadership the one social skill required which is not always forthcoming with a group of learners. Motivation is a tool used both by the group to support those would be leaders and a influential tactic to advance the group towards the achievement of a common goal. The leader or leaders of the group are responsible for the equitable distribution of work, motivating the group, providing active support and guidance through mentoring or coaching. The latter of which are often the hardest for would be leaders to understand. It is easy for someone to distribute tasks and give orders, it is entirely another thing to guide another member of your group and let them complete the task required while feeling that they have a network of support. Decision-making is a skill that entails finding a solution that can meet a problems needs and sets the group onto the path of discovering a solution. Ideas should be discussed amongst the group members and a consensus should be built so that each member feels that their ideas and thoughts have been heard, this is a example of group processing:
Johnson (1999) Group processing exists when group

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