In this action research project of Academy students in Algebra 1 Track 3, I incorporated group work after some lessons and not after others which compared whether the use of group work post the lectures has an effect on their understanding. Through the research, I analyzed the effects of this increased student discourse in regards to the cooperative learning in the classroom. After the research, from clear analysis, it was evident that cooperative learning is effective in the classroom and raises the grades of students. The grades on tests and quizzes are much higher when the students work together in comparison to individual work. Therefore, through this project, I demonstrated the positive effect of group work on the students’ grades, which I previously questioned. Throughout my student teaching, I noticed that students work together at the end of class very often. Hence, I wanted to see if the time that they were using to work was beneficial. Thus, I decided to incorporate structured group work into my lessons, and take some action in researching it’s effectiveness in the classroom. In this action research project, the benefits of cooperative learning are discussed, analyzed, and illustrated along with the potential disadvantages.
I am a senior Mathematics and Secondary Education major at Valparaiso University. I was born in Crown Point, Indiana, and I have wanted to attend Valparaiso University since I was younger. Therefore, I feel that receiving the opportunity to attend Valparaiso has had a major impact on my life. I have met some of the most amazing people in all of my classes of Mathematics and Education and I have learned so much. I have truly enjoyed my past semester student teaching with some of the most amazing teachers I have met. I plan on teaching in the near future in the area because I would like to stay close to home. The people I have met and worked with at Valparaiso have been amazing and I hope to encounter similar personalities in the rest of my endeavors. Although I will miss everyone I have met, I know the future has more in store for me, I cannot predict what will actually happen. I am Greek and I would love to teach mathematics in Greece for a year if I was given the opportunity. I believe that teaching is full of constant opportunities just as this opportunity of research which gave me the chance to analyze a classroom along with my teaching styles.
Koutouvas, Katerina, "Cooperative Learning in the Mathematics Classroom: Work Together, Learn Together" (2013). Education Senior Action Research Projects. Paper 27.