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Boo, H. K., Ng, M., Chew, J. O. A., Lee, C. K. E., Ambrose-Yeoh, A., & D'Rozario, V. (2001, December). Challenges of integrating cooperative learning in primary science classrooms. Paper presented at the AARE Conference, Fremantle, Australia.
The challenge of teaching science is to teach in a way that enables pupils to learn science concepts while acquiring process skills and positive scientific attitudes. One of the effective ways of accomplishing these objectives is through involving pupils in hands-on activities in the context of cooperative learning. The use of cooperative learning presents
immense practical challenges to teachers. This paper is based on classroom observations of science teaching where teachers reported that they were using some form of cooperative learning. These classroom observations were part of a larger study which examined primary classroom practices in Singapore. Our classroom observations reveal that while group work is being carried out in Science lessons, few of the teachers have structured group learning according to the principles of cooperative learning. A challenge faced by teachers is the design of group tasks that will require higher-order thinking and promote real collaboration among group members.
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