The Role of Cooperative Learning In the Teaching of Community and Developmental Subjects: The Case of Teaching History at Secondary School Level
|Author(s)||by Maxwell Constantine Chando Musingafi, Shillah Rugonye|
|Keywords||cooperative learning, teaching, History, students, secondary school.|
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In this conceptual paper we argue the case for cooperative learning. Generally teachers have the option of structuring lessons competitively, individualistically, or cooperatively. Students can compete to see who is best, or work individualistically toward a goal without paying attention to other students, or work cooperatively with a vested interest in each others learning as well as their own. From our experience as teachers and lecturers in the humanities, we observe that, of the three interaction patterns, competition is presently the most dominant. A vast majority of students view school as a competitive enterprise where one tries to do better than other students. Cooperation among students-who celebrate each other’s successes, encourage each other to do homework, and learn to work together regardless of ethnic backgrounds or whether they are male or female, bright or struggling, disabled or not, is still rare. In this paper we therefore examine the role and effectiveness of cooperative learning in the teaching of History at secondary school level showing both its strengths and drawbacks. We conclude that cooperative learning makes learning real and meaningful because it relates well with everyday life experiences of the learners.
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