Teacher perceptions of the challenges of implementing concrete and conceptual cooperative learning
Ghazi M. Ghaith
American University of Beirut, Lebanon
This article reports the results of a mixed-methods study of the perceptions of a selected group of experienced teachers of English as a foreign language of the challenges and potentials of using various cooperative learning methods in the context of achieving the communicative and social goals of a modern theme-based curriculum. Participants (N = 18) took part in a three-day refresher in-service program, during which they completed a semantic differential scale and kept journals to record their perceptions of the congruence, cost, difficulty, and importance, as well as to express their views regarding the challenges and potentials of using cooperative learning in their respective classrooms. Results revealed that the participants tended to perceive the more concrete Jigsaw cooperative learning methods and the cooperative learning Structural approach to be more congruent to their practices, less costly, and easier to implement; although equally important, to the more conceptual methods of Group investigation, Learning together, and Creative controversy. Likewise, the study showed that all cooperative learning methods and strategies are valued, despite implementation challenges related to teacher knowledge, proper implementation, curriculum alignment and crowdedness, time on task, and school policy.
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|Author: Ghazi Ghaith is Professor of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. His research focuses on the applications of cooperative learning in language teaching and teacher education as well as on reading and writing.|
Please cite as: Ghaith, G. M. (2018). Teacher perceptions of the challenges of implementing concrete and conceptual cooperative learning. Issues in Educational Research, 28(2), 385-404. http://www.iier.org.au/iier28/ghaith.pdf