Intermediate phase educators' perceptions and knowledge of co-operative learning
Pillay, Anita Antoinette.
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This study is intended as a contribution and upliftment to pedagogy in South- African Intermediate Phase Classrooms. The thrust of this dissertation revolves around attempts to unravel, intermediate phase educators’ perceptions and knowledge of co-operative learning, and to ascertain, to what extent co-operative learning enhances learning, in intermediate phase classrooms. Through a process of simple random sampling, three intermediate phase educators were selected as a sample for this research. An observation schedule was used to ascertain whether co-operative learning was being practised in the intermediate phase classrooms. Through my observation and discussion thereafter with the educators, it was clear that co-operative learning was not being used as a teaching strategy in the intermediate phase classrooms. Furthermore, these three educators, indicated to me that they were not knowledgeable on co-operative learning and were not exposed to this pedagogy at all. I presented a workshop on co-operative learning, to these educators. Thereafter, they practised this type of pedagogy in their classrooms for three weeks, after which they were interviewed. This sought to provide an insight into intermediate phase educators’ perceptions and knowledge of cooperative learning, as well as to see the extent to which co-operative learning enhances learning. This dissertation encapsulates the findings of the study conducted with educators, with regards to co-operative learning. Findings of the study, indicated that intermediate phase educators, perceived co-operative learning as a significant pedagogy that will enhance the culture of learning and teaching in the intermediate phase class. Furthermore, they indicated that cooperative learning assists intermediate phase learners to achieve a range of academic, as well as social outcomes. Conclusions and recommendations, emanating from the study, list the significance of the use of co-operative learning in intermediate phase classrooms. According to Johnson and Johnson (1994) “ The ability of all students to learn to work co-operatively with others is the keystone to building and maintaining stable marriages, families, careers and friendships ”. Education is the forefront of any nation. It is therefore incumbent on educationists to ensure that schools promote the culture of teaching and learning, in pedagogical styles, that develops the learner holistically and prepares him for society at large.