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Facilitating Student Interactions in Mathematics in a Cooperative Learning Setting

Rosa Leikin, Orit Zaslavsky 

May 1997, Volume 28, Issue 3, Page 331

Abstract:
This article discusses effects on different types of students' interactions while learning mathematics in a particular cooperative small-group setting. Three low-level ninth-grade classes engaged in learning mathematics in an experimental cooperative method. Data were collected through classroom observations, students' written self-reports, and an attitude questionnaire. A group of four students from one of the classes was observed more closely. Analysis of classroom observations and students' self-reports focused on students' activeness, interactions, and attitudes toward the experimental method. Findings for the cooperative small-group setting indicated (a) an increase in students' activeness, (b) a shift toward students' on-task verbal interactions, (c) various opportunities for students to receive help, and (d) positive attitudes toward the cooperative experimental method. A fourth class served as a control group to ascertain whether student achievement increased or decreased as a result of the experimental method.

Keywords:
Mixed Methods
Algebra
Communication
Grades 9-12
Teacher