Researching Teaching Methodologies in the Classroom

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [Karolinska Institutet, University Library]On: 10 October 2014, At: 02:53Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK</p><p>Journal of Teaching in SocialWorkPublication details, including instructions forauthors and subscription information:</p><p>Researching TeachingMethodologies in the ClassroomBruce Dalton a &amp; Austin Chuck Kuhn aa College of Social Work , University of SouthCarolina , USAPublished online: 13 Oct 2008.</p><p>To cite this article: Bruce Dalton &amp; Austin Chuck Kuhn (1998) Researching TeachingMethodologies in the Classroom, Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 17:1-2, 169-184,DOI: 10.1300/J067v17n01_12</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all theinformation (the Content) contained in the publications on our platform.However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness,or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and viewsexpressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, andare not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of theContent should not be relied upon and should be independently verified withprimary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for anylosses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages,and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly orindirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of theContent.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes.Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan,</p><p></p></li><li><p>sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone isexpressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Kar</p><p>olin</p><p>ska </p><p>Inst</p><p>itute</p><p>t, U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 02:</p><p>53 1</p><p>0 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p><p></p></li><li><p>Researching in </p><p>Teaching Methodologies the Classroom </p><p>Bruce Dalton Austin Chuck Kuhn </p><p>ABSTRACT. This paper presents the findings of a research project comparing the effectiveness o f two teaching models used in a gradu- ate social work practice course. Two tcaching methodologies, the lecture/discussion model and the cooperative learning model, werc used in two separate sections of Foundations of Social Work Prac- tice, a first semester graduate course in the MSW program at a large public univcrsity. </p><p>A pretest/posttest comparison group model was used. One section of this coursc used a cooperative learning modcl while the other used the lecture/discussion model. Both sections spent the same amount of time on the material in the knowlcdge questionnaire and adminis- tered the posttest and follow-up on the same date. T-test and effect size statistics were used which demonstrated the greater efficacy of the cooperative learning modcl, particularly on long term retention of information. </p><p>In the course o f describing the teaching models used in the study, the cooperative learning model and its history i s discussed in some detail. It i s expected that after this introduction many social work educators wil l be motivated to use thc model in their own class- rooms. </p><p>This paper further serves as a model for how instructors can effcctively conduct small scale research in their own academic set- ting. It i s an example of how educational research can be donc expeditiously and with limited resources. [Article copies available for a Jee from The Haworth Documeril Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mail address: getitiJo@hawortlipressi,rc. corn] </p><p>Bruce Dalton and Austin Chuck Kuhn are affiliated with the College of Social Work, University of South Carolina. </p><p>Journal of Teaching in Social Work, Vol. 17(1/2) 1998 0 1998 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved. 169 </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Kar</p><p>olin</p><p>ska </p><p>Inst</p><p>itute</p><p>t, U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 02:</p><p>53 1</p><p>0 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>170 JOURNAL OF TEACHING IN SOCIAL WORK </p><p>Cooperative learning is a teaching methodology which uses structurcd exercises whereby students are involved in teaching and learning from each othcr. As a methodology the use of cooperative learning spans thousands of years. For example, in order to understand the Talmud, it was stated that onc needed a learning partner. Seneca, the Roman philosopher, advocated what we now conceptualize as cooperative learning: Qui Docet Disdet (when you teach, you learn twice) (Johnson and Johnson, 19923). More recently thc cooperative learning approach has been effectively used in schools of education and management (McEnerney, 1992). Unfortunately, the use of the cooperative learning model in the social work classroom has not been reported in the literature. Whcther or not cooperative learning strategies are actually being used in the social work classroom is unclcar. Thc applica- tion of the cooperative learning model, however, is consistent with thc philosophical base of social work: empowerment; identification and rec- ognition of strengths; and appreciation of the knowledge and skills the students bring to the classroom. What is clear is that the literature should retlect the innovative techniques being used in the social work classrooms and that measurcment of their effectiveness should be reported. </p><p>The purpose of this study is to compare cooperative learning and lec- ture/discussion methods of teaching and to demonstrate how educational research can be conducted both expeditiously and with limited resources in the classroom. This study was conducted in the first generalist practice social work course required of students enrolled in a large, public, gradu- ate social work program, located in a southeastern university. In this study, thc cffects of cooperative learning on posttest and follow up scores on an original questionnairc on social work history and selected exam questions were examined. The research question guiding this study is: What is thc difference in effectiveness of the two teaching methodologies, traditional lecture/discussion and cooperative learning? Three hypotheses were tested. </p><p>Hypothesis One: Students in the cooperative learning classroom will have a significantly greater improvement in short tcrm knowlcdgc recall on the social work history questionnaire between pretest and posttest than studcnts in the lecture/discussion classroom. </p><p>Hypothesis Two: Students in the cooperative learning classroom will have a greater retention in long term knowledge recall on thc social work history questionnaire between posttest and follow-up than students in the lecture/discussion classroom. </p><p>Hypothesis Thrcc: Students in the cooperative learning classroom will have a significantly greater improvement in knowledge recall on thc five exam items from the chapter in the text covering the social work environment than students in the lecture/discussion classroom. </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Kar</p><p>olin</p><p>ska </p><p>Inst</p><p>itute</p><p>t, U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 02:</p><p>53 1</p><p>0 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>Bruce Daltori arid Aiwfiii Cliiick Kuliri I 71 </p><p>LITERATURE REVIEW </p><p>Cooperative learning is not a new pedagogy to the United States. Coop- erative learning methods brought from England were being utilized in the early 1800s. Ishler (1992) considers the American one room, multi-level school house as a coopcrative learning environment; older, morc advanced students were often paired with younger students. </p><p>During the last three decades o f the 19th century, Colonel Francis Parker, superintendent o f the Quincy, Massachusetts public schools, was a strong advocate for cooperative learning. According to Campbcll (1965), Colonel Parker was so successful that over 30,000 people came to see his use of cooperative learning. Parkers cooperative learning model domi- natcd the American educational scenc early in the 20th century. I n the 1930s, however, American cducation began emphasizing competitive forms of learning. </p><p>Interest in cooperative learning resurfaced in the 1960s. I n the 1970s, major centers for thc study and training in cooperativc lcarning were started at both the Johns Hopkins Universitys Ccnter for Social Organiza- tion of Schools and the Cooperative Learning Center, University of Min- nesota. Currently cooperative learning strategies are being incorporated into lesson plans, curricula, and teaching styles in many fields al l over the US. and a l l over the world (Johnson, Johnson, and Smith, 1991). </p><p>Cooperative learning injects into the learning environment the develop- ment of skill in the social environment (Slavin, 1983). Modern society is composed o f coopcrative groups (i.e., families, ncighborhoods, communi- ties, political groups, etc.). While some of these groups have competition as part of thcir structure, al l of them cannot succeed unless individuals cooperate (Ishler, 1992). Cooperative learning is a model of learning that movcs students from passive recipicnts to active participants in their pur- suit of knowledge. Cooperative learning is a well defined instructional strategy that uses heterogeneous teams of students working toward a com- mon goal. Effective cooperative learning incorporates four basic elements. </p><p>The first component, positive interdependence, rcfers to the importance o f the students perceiving that they sink or swim together. In a football game, the quarterback who throws a pass and the receiver who catches it are positively interdependent. The success of one dcpends on the success of the other. I t takes two to complete the pass (Johnson, Johnson, and Smith, 1992:16). Making a part of the students grade dependent upon thc joint success of their learning group is one way to operationalize the principle of positive interdcpendence in the classroom. </p><p>The second component is face fo face iitreracfioiz among students, a powerful influence on accomplishing the group task. Helping each other, </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Kar</p><p>olin</p><p>ska </p><p>Inst</p><p>itute</p><p>t, U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 02:</p><p>53 1</p><p>0 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>172 JOURNAL OF TEACHING IN SOCIAL WORK </p><p>sharing ideas, and setting and achieving mutual goals are al l enhanced by the face to face interaction found in coopcrativc learning (Johnson et al., 1992). </p><p>Thc third component i s individual accountability, mcaning that each member o f the group is ultimately responsible for her or his own learning. Thus, consistent with cooperative learning principles, the ma.jority o f thc students grade is still based on individual assignments (Johnson et al., 1992). According to Robert Slavin (1989) whcn cooperative learning combines group goals and individual accountability thc result is a signifi- cant improvement in achievement for all group members. </p><p>The fourth component is that students must use appropriate ifiterper- sorzal arid small group skills. This is perhaps thc most challenging aspect o f cooperative learning. Students must get to know one another, dcvclop trust, mutually support one another, and develop constructivc conflict rcsolution strategies (Johnson et al., 1992). </p><p>When studying complex and intricate materials, students should not be pcrmitted to become passive learners. One method of involving studcnts in their learning is to have them explain to one another what they are learning from the lesson. In addition, they wil l also view the lesson content from the perspective of their pccrs (Johnson and Johnson, 1989). </p><p>One of the drawbacks to the use of cooperative learning is that not all students learn best in small groups. I n addition the majority of undergradu- ate education is taught in the lecture discussion format. As a result incom- ing graduatc students are unfamiliar with and may be uncomfortable with a new Icarning methodology. However, social workers provide services to not only individuals but also families and small groups. Thus social work graduate students may have a grcatcr need for experience working in small groups than other disciplines. </p><p>The literature on the lecture method provides some sharp contrasts to cooperative learning. According to ODonnell and Dansereau (19931, the lecture method is most oftcn uscd in the college and graduate classroom. The technique is efficient in communicating large amounts of information to students in short pcriods of time, and, since a majority o f professors were taught in a lecture environment, there is familiarity with these tradi- tional methods. </p><p>While the lecture method is the most commonly used, it has several shortcomings. First, the students attention to what the lecturer is saying decreases as lecture time increases (Johnson ct al., 1991). The student in the lecture classroom is a passive learner in relation to thc information pres- ented (Walbaum, 1989). Students with poor memory often become over- whelmed by the continuous tlow of information. According to ODonncll </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Kar</p><p>olin</p><p>ska </p><p>Inst</p><p>itute</p><p>t, U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 02:</p><p>53 1</p><p>0 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>Bruce Dulton utid Austin Chuck Kuhti 173 </p><p>and Dansereau (1993), the majority of research aimed at improving stu- dent learning during lcctures focuses on student note taking and effective usc of those notes. Unfortunately, improving the students ability to take notes does not move them from the passive role of recipient of information to a more activc rolc (Kiew, 1988). The lecture method of instruction typically promotes lower-level learning of factual information. In addition, students tend to not like lectures (Johnson et al., 1991). </p><p>Cooperative learning has often been viewed as a teaching methodology for young children, however, its use in secondary education and higher education is on the risc (Ishler, 1992). There is also empirical evidence accumulating regarding its effectiveness at all levels of education. Accord- ing to Johnson and Johnson (1989) Over 375 studies have been con- ducted over the past 90 years to answer the question of how succcssful competitive, individualistic, and cooperative efforts are in promoting pro- ductivity and achievement (p. 25). Using meta analysis, Johnson and Johnson (1991) found that students in a cooperative learning environment performed at about two-thirds of a standard deviation abovc students in a competitive or individualistic learning situation. </p><p>Gibbs (1987) also reported similar results: when students in a coopera- tive learning environment are compared to students in a competitive envi- ronmcnt, the cooperative learning students score higher on tests. In another meta analysis, Johnson and John...</p></li></ul>


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