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Title:An Exploration of Political Resistance to Cooperative Learning
Author(s):Smith, Phillip Anthony
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Louis Rubin
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, General
Abstract:A nation-wide survey of members of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum developments cooperative learning network who responded to a 54-item questionnaire produced: (1) Adherents of cooperative learning strongly support the concept and overwhelmingly believe that it is a valuable strategy. (2) There is considerable opposition to cooperative learning in schools. One-third of the teachers do not support the concept, and over half the parents are opposed to it. Most importantly, two-thirds of the gifted parents do not support the use of cooperative learning. (3) Political resistance is heavily tied to philosophical beliefs and vested interests. (4) Cooperative learning is basically the province of newly appointed administrators and teachers newer to the profession. (5) Cooperative learning will draw the ire of gifted and tracking enthusiasts of which most schools are well stocked. This work has four reflection points for school practitioners. (a) Cooperative learning is a worthwhile teaching strategy but can be a problem when implemented by inexperienced school personnel. (b) Considerable opposition to cooperative learning may not appear until it becomes apparent to certain stakeholders that the theory has violated their vested interests. By then, resistance has progressed to the point where it is difficult to counter. (c) Aggressive, cutting edge administrators who are committed to school improvement stand at the greatest risk in the use of cooperative learning. (d) It appears that adept school leaders can take steps to anticipate and avoid the controversy generated by cooperative learning if they (a) understand and respect the political realities and accept the fact that cooperative learning has certain traits that cannot be glossed over, (b) if they are sensitive and understand the bases of the objections and categorize them into controllable segments, and (c) if they are committed to monitoring and readjusting their implementation strategies for cooperative learning as circumstances require.
Issue Date:1997
Description:198 p.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9815096
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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