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Abstract

Although many studies have shown the effectiveness of cooperative learning in a variety of settings in grades K–12, relatively few have focused on higher education. This study compared two physical science laboratory sections in a course for elementary/middle level preservice teachers. One section was taught in the traditional method, and the other was instructed using the Learning Together technique of cooperative learning. Comparisons between the two laboratory sections assessed any differences in student achievement and collaborative skills. In addition, the cooperative learning group completed a questionnaire that assessed their perception of the effectiveness of cooperative learning compared to more traditional methods of instruction, and their attitudes toward the laboratory section. Although no significant differences were observed in achievement, the cooperative learning group exhibited significant gains in collaborative skills. By the end of the course, cooperative learning students indicated a high comfort level for the laboratory.