The Effects Cooperative Learning Strategies to Students' Attitude and Achievement in College Algebra

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Cooperative Learning Strategies: Effects on Student’s Achievement in College Algebra

Crysali Therese Rufo-Dayaganon

Mathematics is commonly thought of as a mystifying subject that is virtually impossible to learn by most people. Cognitive tasks such as problem-solving, discovering relationships, proving theorems, analyzing situations and interpreting mathematical communications require students to work through perplexing moments. Those students who are not confident enough in their own mathematical abilities tend to stop working on a task as soon as they become perplexed. For this reason, unfinished task leads a great dismay on their part.

However, the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics (1991) encourages instruction that helps all students understand mathematics. One of the principles being mentioned is to provide opportunities for students to construct and communicate mathematics. When students construct mathematics through their experiences and subsequent interactions with teachers and peers, they develop schemas that serve them well as they continue to learn mathematics. The document emphasizes students’ active participation in the classroom, opportunities for cooperative learning, and creating and maintaining a safe environment.

This study is anchored on Johnson and Johnson’s (1992) on cooperative learning in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete the task.

According to Johnson and Johnson (1992), there are certain conditions that cooperative efforts may be expected to be more productive than competitive and individualistic efforts:

Positive Interdependence...