A CASE STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING ON STUDENT ON-/OFF-TASK ENGAGEMENT IN FIVE HIGH SCHOOL MATHEMATICS CLASSROOMS
Kendall, Monica 1963-
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Cooperative learning is one active learning strategy that creates an opportunity for students to work together to acquire both cognitive and affective skills. However, observations of secondary classrooms reveal that students seldom experience cooperative learning. Moreover, when they do, classroom management often becomes a barrier to student academic engagement. This case study evolved from a previous pilot study of an eighth-grade Algebra I teacher whose classes were observed three times over a six-month period. This study includes data collection of five high school mathematics teachers over an 11-week period to determine if classroom management of cooperative learning may affect on-/off-task student engagement. This study utilizes a mixed methods design to address the following questions: (1) Does classroom management of cooperative learning in five high school mathematics classrooms affect student on-/off-task engagement? (2) Do students from the study classrooms confirm what observers report as on-/off-task behavior? To address the first research question, data from a fixed category classroom observation system that focuses on classroom management and instruction and data from this researcher’s field notes and teachers’ written reflections during post-observation debriefing/coaching sessions have been collected. To address the second question, student survey data have been collected and audio-recorded student interviews have been conducted. The field notes, combined with the student survey and interview data, have been used to triangulate with the classroom observation data. The findings from this study indicate that student off-task behaviors during cooperative learning increased from the first to the second observation, and decreased from the second to the third observation. In addition, the student survey and student interviews confirmed the observation data, with the interviews having a higher confirmation rate than the survey. The survey, interviews, and written reflections triangulated with the observation data to provide a confirmatory data set.