Piaget's social interaction idea

Vygotsky's ZPD and social interaction ideas

Social constructivism

Cognitive theory

Advantages of group learning

1. Students come to a more complete understanding by comparing with others.

2. Having to explain to others encourages elaboration.

3. Students with better skills serve as models.

4. Discussion of controversial topics promotes more sophisticated thinking.

5. They're usually more motivating.


What the book says:

1. topics with multiple perspectives

2. sufficient prior knowledge

3. classroom atmosphere

4. use of small groups first

5. structured

6. group norms

7. closure

Group Projects


1. Teacher assigned groups

2. Common goals

3. Behavior norms

4. Interdependence

5. Structure

6. Individual accountability

7. Group rewards

8. Assess group process

Reciprocal teaching
Between teacher and students

Uses modeling of learning strategies

 Example: Teaching reading strategies


Cognitive apprenticeship

Between a master and a novice

Focuses on thinking aloud by master

Involves modeling, coached practice, scaffolding, articulation, reflection and exploration

Example: clinical internships

Peer tutoring
Between a more advanced student and a beginning student

Also uses modeling but of a more approachable individual

Tutors benefit, too

Example: Neighborhood Longhorns

Communities of learners
Between students and teachers as learners, too

Usually revolves around a similar interest

Process of learning is emphasized

Example: Freshman interest groups

Cooperative Learning
Keys to success
Individual accountability (everyone must succeed)

Team rewards  (positive interdependence)

Equal opportunities for success  (all contribute by succeeding)

Research findings

  Academic achievement

Intergroup relations



Positive feelings about learning


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