Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Group work in education -- Social aspects; Group work in education -- Psychological aspects;


The effects of cooperative learning on student social attitudes was investigated in two parts. The first part presented a literature review which focused on the effect cooperative learning has had on social acceptance among various ethnic groups in culturally diverse classrooms and on mainstreamed mentally handicapped students. The results showed that, in general, cooperative learning as an instructional strategy does have positive effects on the formation of cross-racial friendships, increases the acceptance of differences among ethnically diverse students, and promotes positive attitudes among normal-progress students and those who have been mainstreamed due to handicaps. The second part was an investigation of the effect of cooperative learning on student self-concept and social attitudes among students and their peers. The subjects were 44 seventh grade students from two intact personal development classes. A sociogram designed to determine the patterns of relationships within the class and the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Inventory were administered to each student at the beginning of the study. Students were then randomly assigned to heterogeneous groups of three or four. Through the use of cooperative learning strategies, each group was given the task of researching and presenting information about a particular body system to the whole class. These groups met for 50 minutes each day for a total of four weeks. At the end of that time period, the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Inventory and the same sociogram were readministered to each student. The results on both instruments showed little change. The cooperative learning strategy did not appear to affect either the self-concepts of the students or their feelings about their peers in the classroom.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Greg P. Stefanich


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (66 leaves)



File Format


Included in

Education Commons