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Analysis of Former Learning Assistants’ Views on Cooperative Learning Documents

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Analysis of Former Learning Assistants’ Views on Cooperative Learning 

written by Kara E. Gray and Valerie K. Otero

The University of Colorado Learning Assistant (LA) program integrates a weekly education seminar, meetings with science faculty to review content, and a semester-long teaching experience that hires undergraduates to work with groups of students in university science courses. Following this three–pronged learning experience, some of the LAs continue into the teacher certification program. While previous research has shown that this model has more than doubled the number of science and math majors graduating with a teaching certification, the question remains whether these teachers are better prepared to teach. The analysis presented here addresses this question by comparing the views of former LAs to the views of comparable teachers on the issue of cooperative learning. Interviews were conducted with ten middle school and high school science teachers throughout their first year of teaching. Results suggest differences in former LAs views toward group work and their purposes for using group work.

Published November 11, 2009
Last Modified October 6, 2009

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