Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Working together in a dynamic group process has been shown to be highly effective in maximizing learning outcomes and helping students realize greater academic and social skills (Glasser, 1986). A great deal of research has been conducted on the relationship of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic efforts and instructional methods (Johnson, Johnson & Holubec, 1988). Johnson and his associates in 1981 (as cited by Wood, 1987) revealed that instruction focusing on cooperation and collaboration resulted in significant gains in achievement, self-esteem and social development. Many viable and successful forms and hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic adherents have realized extraordinary successes using cooperative learning (Slavin, 1989). Sharan and Pepitone, both in 1980 (as cited by Wood, 1987) explored the differential effects on students' attitudes, achievement and ethnic relations in cooperative learning. Without a doubt, cooperative learning has become one of the promising options for the future of education.

Although a great deal of research has been done which documents the positive effects of cooperative learning at the primary and secondary levels, very little research has been done to document the effects of cooperative learning in the industrial technology classroom. One purpose of this study was to review the literature and draw conclusions as to how cooperative learning can be used to enhance student motivation and achievement in a principles of technology course.

In the typical classroom of today, each student works alone. This approach is totally contrary to one of the basic human needs to belong to something or someone. The idea of having students function as a group to produce some result has been carefully studied and it works (Glasser, 1986). Students working together in groups such as band, chorus, school newspaper, yearbook, and athletics, have traditionally been successful. The tradition of using the group process in industrial technology (Maley, 1966) can perhaps be even further enhanced in the principles of technology course by incorporating cooperative structures which have been shown to be effective elsewhere in the curriculum. An important purpose of this study will be to provide a means for principles of technology instructors to develop an instructional method which will enhance the course.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Ervin A. Dennis


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Date Original


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