Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Do I Matter? Introduction to Matter - Section 2: Explore


Individual accountability is a necessary part of cooperative learning. As science teachers, we use cooperative learning for many reasons:

1) Scientists work in diverse and overlapping groups to enact scientific inquiry.

2) Cooperative learning is often considered best practice (especially in science instruction). Positive aspects include enhanced discussion, supportive relationships, cooperation and acquisition of conceptual understanding.

3) Cooperative grouping is the answer to some limiting factors in classrooms: class size, space and supplies are examples.

4) More minds are better than one in terms of creativity, prior knowledge and problem-solving capacity.

The problem with cooperative learning is this:

As group size increases, individual accountability decreases.

This makes sense, right? In a group of one, there is a ton of accountability.There is nowhere to hide! However, in a group of 7, students who are shy, quiet, followers, struggling, second language learners, special needs learners or are unmotivated can hide or be easily lost. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary to design and implement individual accountability measures for groups ranging from 1 to 30!

For additional individual accountability measures and discussion of this topic, read Positive Interdependence, Individual Accountability, Promotive Interaction: Three Pillars of Cooperative Learning.

  Individual Accountability Versus Group Think
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Individual Accountability Versus Group Think
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Do I Matter? Introduction to Matter

Unit 6: Properties of Matter
Lesson 2 of 14

Objective: SWBAT define and measure matter.

Big Idea: "Do I matter?" is an age-old question. Students explore this question philosophically and scientifically.

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