According to The American Federation of Teachers (2010) state that
■ “Cooperative small groups require students to learn from each other through their interactions.
■ Cooperative small groups have positive effects on students’ interpersonal
relationship in the
classroom and can improve attitudes of students of different races, ethnicities and academic abilities toward one another.
■ Cooperative small groups have a positive effect on achievement and are particularly effective in promoting conceptual and higher-level learning.”
These advantages are vital to what most teachers wish to provide his or her students. These advantages emphasis the work of students in small groups, although these concepts can be applied to other cooperative learning experiences. It also mentions that the students are more accepting of other cultures which is vital in such a diverse population that one may live in.
One common situation is using the jigsaw technique: “new information is divided equally among all group members, and each student must teach his or her portion to the other group members” (Ormond, 2008, p. 439). The downside to this is when a student does not complete his or her portion. Unfortunately in group projects or assignments, one student may chose not to work as hard as others, or simply allow others to do it for them. This one student hurts the entire group and brings the morale down. Additionally Ormond (2008) states that “in some cases, students may simply not have the skills to help one another learn” (p. 443).To help overcome these disadvantages, the teacher should remain active within the groups.