Natasha McBride


Greenfaulds High

  • Cooperative Learning

What happens when social intentions are introduced as part of the learning criteria?


After attending a course on cooperative learning, I learned that cooperative learning strategies can be successful with students of all ages, learning styles, and abilities. However, if students have never been taught the necessary social skills for these types of tasks, they cannot be expected to work together effectively. Social skills are not only at the core of successful cooperative learning, but they are also crucial to general academic achievement and work-related skills (McClelland & Morrison, 2003). Johnson and Johnson (1999) point out that how students interact with each another is a neglected aspect of instruction. Research suggests that when social skills instruction is offered to children with social difficulties such as aggression or isolation, this can significantly improve the nature of the child’s social relationships (Ladd, 2005; Mize & Ladd, 1990). It was therefore decided to introduce social intentions to the classroom and investigate the impact on the success of cooperative learning tasks, and overall behaviour.


  • To investigate the impact of setting a social intention on pupils’ social skills and behaviour in the classroom e.g. good listening.
  • To investigate whether setting a social intention contributes to more successful co-operative learning.
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