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Collaboration In Action : the impact of a cooperative learning environment on student engagement in ninth grade English

  • Author(s): Young, Jessica Jean
  • et al.
Abstract

Collaboration in Action was designed to facilitate a learning environment that would increase motivation and engagement among students in ninth grade English classroom. The model that was used was based on the structure used in scholastic journalism, which required the participating students to be teachers, learners and collaborators. The curriculum was implemented in a ninth grade English classroom at a Title I high school. Prior to the implementation, the class average was in the D+ range. Collaboration in Action was used alongside a novel study. The students were grouped based on skills and social interactions and expected to work together to complete tasks. The students were reliant on one another to complete tasks and turn in assignments, in order for their groups to succeed. It was critical for the students to monitor and manage one another's progress. Through this curriculum, it was found that by placing students in structured, collaborative learning environments, they were more likely to be engaged in their material, than when in a traditional classroom environment. Creating a structure in which students had to rely on one another made each student feel personally responsible for the success of his /her peers. Collaboration in Action facilitated a sense of belonging, ownership and community for students that helped them feel supported. Through Collaboration in Action, teachers can borrow from the successful practices of the journalism classroom. Despite the unique nature of scholastic journalism, the structures that are used in electives can garner meaningful results in the core subject areas as well

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