Possibilities and problems in using cooperative learning in the social studies classroom

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The dissertation is based on an exploration of possibilities and problems of Cooperative learning in the Social studies classroom in the context of Pakistan. The field work for the study was done in one of the Aga Khan Education Service (AKES) secondary schools Karachi, Pakistan. A total of forty students were taught in six weeks (23 periods). I acted as a researcher as well as a teacher. The major findings of the study are as follows:

1. In the present context, the formation of Cooperative learning groups is difficult and time consuming. Students are used to working with their own selected group, so when groups were formed, many students were felt challenged because it disturbed their statues quo in class. It was difficult for a single teacher to manage the formation of self-selected and random-groups in a large classroom within a short time. So the teacher need to be sensitive to process of group formation. 2. Teaching Social skills is a huge task and complex process. It requires considerable practice and patience. A teacher must have a constant focus on the proper use of Social skills can encourage low-ability students to feel comfortable in the classroom. 3. Effective Positive Interdependence and Individual Accountability depend on the nature of the task. The teacher needs to have a clear understanding of the task and its objectives. It is difficult to select the task as a novice teacher. Positive feedback can support Positive Interdependence and Individual Accountability.

4. Content is learned better with Cooperative learning groups but it is difficult to assess an individual student's learning. However, this learning is not compatible with the existing practice of student assessment. In the present practice, the Social objectives of a student are not assessed, and the student's opinion is overlooked. The exam only looks for the accuracy and knowledge as peer the textbook. How much students were prepared for the regular exam, it was difficult to measure. This creates a tension for the teacher as well as the students.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library