USE OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING ACTIVITIES TO ELEVATE STUDENT
INTERACTION AND PARTICIPATION IN CHILD CARE CENTER
The proposed study will investigate the research problem of whether the introduction of cooperative learning techniques and activities at a child care center will increase the levels of interaction and participation of a group of elementary school students (ages 9 and 10 years) who attend the center's after school program. Before reviewing the literature supportive of the notion that the introduction of a cooperative learning program will assist in improving students interaction and participation at the center, it is helpful to first review the child care setting itself, the investigator's educational role at the center, and the evidence suggesting that elementary school students are in need of improvement in the areas of interaction and participation at the center.
Child Care Setting, Investigator's Role and Evidence For Problem
The Child Care setting in which the study will be conducted is a 20 staff member public school, inner-city facility serving 51 elementary school students, ages six through ten, in an after-school program. These students also attend the center during summer and holidays.
The investigator is an administrator at this center whose responsibilities include developing/implementing curriculum; coordinating staff development; establishing parent and personnel partnerships and youth organizations, budget planning, and fund-raising activities. From February to July 1994, the investigator informally observed children's interaction and participation in center activities, noting that of the 51 students, 20 demonstrated behaviors indicative of low levels of interaction and participation. These behaviors were:
(1) Students frequently refused to follow directions.
(2) Students frequently "acted out," such as name calling.
(3) Students frequently left their seats and ran around the classroom...