Date of Award

Winter 11-29-2005

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Susan O'Connor


The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of cooperative learning (CL) on the math performance of middle and high school students with Emotional Behavior Disabilities (EB/D). Two classes, for a total of 16 students, participated in the study. One class of eight students was used as the control group. The other class of nine students was placed in three groups of three cooperative learning teams. The study was conducted between September 1", 2004 and March 20, 2005. This was the equivalent of three quarters of the school year with cooperative learning being used as the instructional strategy for the second quarter only. During the first and third quarters, material during mathematics was presented through lecture and independent reading. Students worked on class assignments individually. The findings show that cooperative learning groups during second quarter improved the students math grades by 14% or by two full letter grades, going from C's to A's. Cooperative learning increased the student's Minnesota Basic Standards Test (MBST) in Mathematics scores by an average of 35 points. Student behavior was also effected by the cooperative learning groups. Negative behaviors in the classroom and in the school dropped 65% during 2nd quarter for those students who participated in the cooperative learning groups. The In School Suspensions (ISS) also decreased 70% when students participated in the cooperative learning groups. On a questionnaire that the 1 students completed, the students indicated that they 1) enjoyed working in the cooperative learning groups, 2) they felt the cooperative learning groups helped them with their math, 3) they were motivated by the cooperative learning groups, and 4) they would like to participate in cooperative learning again. This study showed that the major benefits of cooperative learning in the mathematics classroom were; increased participation, increased assignment completion, increase in overall quarter grades, increase in MBST scores, a decrease in negative behaviors in class and throughout the school day, a decrease in severe negative behaviors resulting in ISS, as well as positive teamwork skills developed and small group skills and social skills learned by most of the students.


SC 11.MAE.2005.Ramboldt.M

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