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Title: A Readiness Study About Cooperative Learning Practices at Schools Level in Karachi: Issues and Challenges
Authors: , Najmonnisa
Keywords: Social Sciences
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Iqra University Karachi, Karachi.
Abstract: Key terms: Cooperation, achievement, social skills, diversity In Pakistani society, there is more competitiveness and less tolerance; classroom being a small component of society reflects the same environment. Cooperative learning (CL) can be an effective teaching technique to address such problems in classrooms where students come from different backgrounds (Khan & Inamullah, 2011). In CL students work together in structured groups to achieve common goal. The current study aimed to explore the extent to which CL could be adopted as a substitute to replace conventional lecture method teaching in public schools` classrooms and measure its possible effects on academic achievement of students and development of social skills. As well as the study aimed to explore the perceptions and classroom practices of the teachers, students and school heads with reference to effectiveness of CL approach and to identify barriers that hinder implementation of CL in public schools. The study was also designed to evaluate the instructions given for follow up exercises in the textbooks of General Science from grade III-VIII of Sindh Text Book Board (S.T.B.B) to see what weight is given to CL. Researcher employed mixed method research design. In first stage, qualitative data was collected with the help of interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs) and classroom observations. All the teachers, students and school heads of elementary public schools were included in the study as research population. Fifty two teachers, twenty eight school heads and two hundred and fourteen students were selected as the research participants. Classroom observations of interviewee teachers were also conducted to validate the findings of the interviews and FGDs. For experimental phase of the study, two sections of grad VII from a public school were selected. Total number of students in both the classes was one hundred and twenty eight. A Quasi-experimental study on comparison and experimental group was conducted to measure the possible effects of CL on students` academic achievement. Quantitative data was collected via learners’ pretest and posttest scores on the dependent variable and self-evaluation checklist. The qualitative data was analyzed through thematic analysis. To measure the effect of CL xxvii method on academic achievement of students of experimental group, the significance of difference between the scores of groups at 0.05 level was tested by applying t-test. Development of Social skills of students was measured by percentage. Quantitative Data analysis revealed that students of control group and experimental group performed equally well in the pre-test. However, the experimental group performed significantly well and outscored the comparison group on post-test. The results of the study proved that CL is more effective than traditional lecture method in improving academic knowledge and social skills of students. Qualitative data analysis showed that teachers of public schools use lecture based teaching method and having no or poor understanding of CL. Classroom seating arrangement is row seating and students have no opportunity to interact with each other. Few elements of CL were found in classrooms, such as individual accountability, developing social skills and sharing of knowledge and resources in non-formal way without any understanding and intension of CL. Major findings of this study showed that both teachers and students had positive attitudes towards the use of CL approach. Whereas, teachers had few concerns, regarding large classroom size, lack of learning resources, lengthy syllabus and lack of support from school administration. Textbooks analysis revealed that language of instructions does not support CL. The study proposes several suggestions for teachers, teacher educators, curriculum developers and policy makers for the improvement of teaching learning situation in public schools. Findings, implications and recommendations were further discussed in the last section of this report.
Gov't Doc #: 14437
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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