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The effects of cooperative learning experiences on achievement, attitudes,and behaviours in biology

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dc.contributor.advisor O'Grady, Audrey Alraddadi, Amnah 2020-12-16T15:12:29Z 2020-12-16T15:12:29Z 2020
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Cooperative learning (CL) is an educational approach where small groups work together to achieve a common goal. The method has been observed to be successful, with 900 research studies indicating the effectiveness of cooperative learning over traditional learning (Johnson at al. 2000). Many studies have investigated students’ attitudes towards science and biology (Barmby et al., 2008; Kim & Song, 2009; Nasr & Soltani, 2011). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has underlined the importance of studying students’ attitudes towards science while considering that a student’s scientific literacy must include attitudes that can benefit the individual and society (OECD, 2010). Moreover, Algarfi (2010) highlighted the impact of pre-service teachers’ perception of and experience in a subject during their teaching practices. Few studies have been carried out on cooperative learning in Ireland, especially with regards to science subjects. The literature review in this study shows that most studies concentrated on assessment, with just a few studies in the field of student and pre- service teacher perceptions and attitudes toward the subject (Kyndt et al., 2013). The study aimed to find the effects of the cooperative learning strategies on second level students in Ireland. The study examines the development of learning skills among students with a goal of improving students’ achievement and attitudes towards biology. This can be achieved by improving teaching methods and scientific knowledge among pre-service teachers at university (and how a cooperative learning training programme will impact pre-service teachers’ future teaching practices). An experimental research investigation was developed to answer the study questions. Seventy-four second year pre-service teachers at the University of Limerick and four hundred and two junior cycle students in Ireland participated in thispresent study. An intervention programme was developed to provide a cooperative active learning workshop for biology undergraduate students. A pre and post-test group design was applied. The CL groups were taught using CL methods and control group were taught using traditional teaching methods. The intervention programme consisted of a workshop in cooperative active learning and examination of the learning methods. The analysis of the questionnaires and pre-service teachers’ evaluation forms showed that the majority of the pre-service teachers are of the opinion that the intervention programme was an effective strategy to encourage and promote pre-service teachers to use cooperative learning. Data was collected through questionnaires, evaluation forms, pre and post-tests, self- assessment grids, team-assessment grids, and interviews. The quantitative data collection was analysed by using a combination of independent t-tests, Chi-squared tests, and paired t-tests. The qualitative data collection was analysed by using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke 2012). The findings from phase one indicated that most students and pre-service teachers generally have positive perceptions of cooperative learning and positive attitudes toward biology classes. The findings also indicated that pre-service teachers need to develop their knowledge and strategies to use this alternative to the traditional learning method. The pre-service teachers and students can develop positive perceptions of cooperative learning and use it to replace traditional methods. It is also possible to improve the knowledge and understanding of pre-service teachers by training them on CL methods and providing them with the required lesson plans and resources. The results from phase two showed that the majority (79.6% in lesson one, 81,6% in lesson two, 85.4% in lesson three, and 84.6% in lesson four) students in CL groups increased their academic achievement for example in lesson three 85.4% of CL group answered the post-test correctly, compared with 56.6% of control group students answering correctly. Students also increased their social skills, the results show that 76.9% of CL students selected 4 or 5 points out 5 in skill one, 69.2% in skill two, and 73.1% in skill five. CL student’s positive interaction improved after the implementation of the CL groups such as sharing their scores with the rest of the Cl group members increased from 53.1% in the pre-survay to 79.1% in the post-survay. Moreover, the results showed that there was a significant difference between students’ attitude toward practical work (p< 0.01), importance of biology (p< 0.05), and selfconcept in biology (p<0.01) before and after the study. The findings from the pre and post-test indicated that CL lessons had a significant impact on the CL students understanding of the four lessons (the p-values were less than 0.05 in all of the four lessons) compared to the students in the control groups. The findings from phase three indicated that CL leads to improved student scores, increased social skills, improved critical thinking skills, better higher-order thinking, and the enhancement of student attitudes towards biology. This study reviewed the impact of the jigsaw strategy on student opinions toward science lessons. Based on the results, CL is recommended to be implemented into science classrooms. The present study provides a signficant contribution to researchers, in-service teachers, and pre-service teachers in the effort to improve teaching quality in Ireland and internationally. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject cooperative learning en_US
dc.subject biology en_US
dc.subject teaching practices en_US
dc.title The effects of cooperative learning experiences on achievement, attitudes,and behaviours in biology en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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