Summer Grove Teachers: I guess you got your letter announcing that we will be participating in Kagan training this year. I found this overview over at http://www.teach-nology.com/currenttrends/cooperative_learning/kagan/
Dr. Spencer Kagan's Thoughts on Cooperative LearningDr. Spencer Kagan proposed his model about cooperative learning in 1985 in his book 'Cooperative Learning Structures'. In his model, he mainly advocated two basic principles. He first stated that the world is pretty much competitive while in some fields it isn't that much. However, you have to be fully equipped with knowledge in the fields you are going to face. Coming to the second principle, he wanted to have a learning method which was a mixture between competitive and individualistic, with cooperative classroom organization so that it could help in preparing the students for complete sort of social situations.
According to Dr. Spencer Kagan, there are some advantages and disadvantages of cooperative learning. Starting with academic achievements has been increased among those who have used cooperative learning. Cooperative learning also builds an ethnic relation among students creating mutual understanding between them. Cooperative learning also increases one's self-esteem, social skills, and study skills. It teaches student empathy and builds social relationships. It not only makes a student like the school, class, lesson plans, the teacher but also teaches them to be more responsible, creating a sense in them that they do make a difference. Moreover, in working in groups students learn to work with and understand others who differ from themselves.
In addition to that, student also increases their higher level thinking skills. More to it, individual accountability will be credited, in which each student contribution will be held accountable, which result in equal participation from each student. There are students who raise hands while other sometimes or never raise hands to participate in the class, so through cooperative learning participation is also increased. Cooperative learning also introduces the sense of social orientation so that students find other students someone to work with rather than someone to beat. Lastly, the students learn the workplace skills which are a necessity in the twenty-first century as the students need to know how to work in groups.