Cooperative learning has been around a long time (Johnson, 1970; Johnson & Johnson, 1989, 1999). It will probably never go away due to its rich history of theory, research, and actual use in the classroom. Markedly different theoretical perspectives (social interdependence, cognitive-developmental, and behavioral learning) provide a clear rationale as to why cooperative efforts are essential for maximizing learning and ensuring healthy cognitive and social development as well as many other important instructional outcomes. Hundreds of research studies demonstrate that cooperative efforts result in higher individual achievement than do competitive or individualistic efforts. Educators use cooperative learning throughout North America, Europe, and many other parts of the world. This combination of theory, research, and practice makes cooperative learning one of the most distinguished of all instructional practices.Here, cooperative learning is defined as follows:
Cooperative learning exists when students work together to accomplish shared learning goals (Johnson & Johnson, 1999). Each student can then achieve his or her learning goal if and only if the other group members achieve theirs (Deutsch, 1962).You can read the whole meta-analysis here.
Does anyone have any thoughts on how reliable this meta-analysis is (it seems to be unpublished, only appearing on the University of Minnesota Cooperative Learning Center website, and finds Johnson & Johnson's own method, Learning Together, most effective), or whether there's any research on cooperative learning that contradicts its conclusions?