Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

The State of Cooperative Learning in Postsecondary and Professional Settings

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Educational Psychology Review Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Modern cooperative learning began in the mid- 1960s (D. W. Johnson & R. Johnson, 1999a). Its use, however, was resisted by advocates of social Darwinism (who believed that students must be taught to survive in a “dog-eat-dog” world) and individualism (who believed in the myth of the “rugged individualist”). Despite the resistance, cooperative learning is now an accepted, and often the preferred, instructional procedures at all levels of education. Cooperative learning is being used in postsecondary education in every part of the world. It is difficult to find a text on instructional methods, a journal on teaching, or instructional guidelines that do not discuss cooperative learning. Materials on cooperative learning have been translated into dozens of languages. Cooperative learning is one of the success stories of both psychology and education. One of the most distinctive characteristics of cooperative learning, and perhaps the reason for its success, is the close relationship between theory, research, and practice. In this article, social interdependence theory will be reviewed, the research validating the theory will be summarized, and the five basic elements needed to understand the dynamics of cooperation and operationalize the validated theory will be discussed. Finally the controversies in the research and the remaining questions that need to be answered by future research will be noted.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Astin, S. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bok, D. (2005). Our underachieving colleges: A candid look at how much students learn and why they should be learning more. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Deutsch, M. (1949). A theory of cooperation and competition. Human Relations, 2, 129–152.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deutsch, M. (1958). Trust and suspicion. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2, 265–279.

    Google Scholar 

  • Deutsch, M. (1960). The effects of motivational orientation upon trust and suspicion. Human Relations, 13, 123–139.

    Google Scholar 

  • Deutsch, M. (1962). Cooperation and trust: Some theoretical notes. In M. R. Jones (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation (pp. 275–319). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Deutsch, M. (1973). The resolution of conflict. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hersh, R., & Merrow, J. (2005). Declining by degrees: Higher education at risk. New York: Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W. (1970). Social psychology of education. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W. (1971). Role reversal: A summary and review of the research. International Journal of Group Tensions, 1, 318–334.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W. (1974). Communication and the inducement of cooperative behavior in conflicts: A critical review. Speech Monographs, 41, 64–78.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W. (2006). Reaching out: Interpersonal effectiveness and self-actualization (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (1974). Instructional goal structure: Cooperative, competitive, or individualistic. Review of Educational Research, 44, 213–240.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (1989). Cooperation and competition: Theory and research. Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (1992). Positive interdependence: Key to effective cooperation. In R. Hertz-Lazarowitz & N. Miller (Eds.), Interaction in cooperative groups: The theoretical anatomy of group learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (1995). Creative controversy: Intellectual conflict in the classroom (3rd ed.). Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (1996). Cooperative learning and traditional American values. NASSP Bulletin, 80(579), 11–18.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (1999a). Learning together and alone: Cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (1999b). Cooperative learning, values, and culturally plural classrooms. In M. Leicester, C. Modgill, & S. Modgil (Eds.), Values, the classroom, and cultural diversity. London, UK: Cassell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, R., & Johnson, D. W. (2002). Teaching students to be peacemakers: A meta-analysis. Journal of Research in Education, 12(1), 25–39.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (2003). Controversy and peace education. Journal of Research in Education, 13(1), 71–91.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (2005). Teaching students to be peacemakers (4th ed.). Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, F. (2006a). Joining together: Group theory and group skills (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (2006b). New developments in social interdependence theory. Minneapolis: Report, Cooperative Learning Center, University of Minnesota (submitted for publication).

  • Johnson, D. W., & Noonan, P. (1972). Effects of acceptance and reciprocation of self-disclosures on the development of trust. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 19(5), 411–416.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kohlberg, L. (1969). Stage and sequence: The cognitive-developmental approach to socialization. In D. A. Goslin (Ed.), Handbook of socialization theory and research (pp. 347–480). Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewin, K. (1935). A dynamic theory of personality. New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewin, K. (1948). Resolving social conflicts. New York: Harper.

    Google Scholar 

  • McKeachie, W., Pintrich, P., Yi-Guang, L., & Smith, D. (1986). Teaching and learning in the college classroom: A review f the research literature. Ann Arbor, MI: The Regents of the University of Michigan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Norem-Hebeisen, A., & Johnson, D. W. (1981). Relationships between cooperative, competitive, and individualistic attitudes and differentiated aspects of self-esteem. Journal of Personality, 49, 415–425.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sullivan, W. (2005). Work and integrity: The crisis and promise of professionalism in America (2nd ed.). Stanford, CN: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David W. Johnson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T. & Smith, K. The State of Cooperative Learning in Postsecondary and Professional Settings. Educ Psychol Rev 19, 15–29 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-006-9038-8

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-006-9038-8

Keywords

Navigation