Michael Zeilik

Cooperative Learning

To produce large gains in conceptual understanding, even in large classes with limited resources.
A highly-structured learning environment in which small teams (typically 4) must generate a consensus response (usually in writing) to a question, problem demonstration, or activity. Anyone in the group must be able to defend this consensus.
Cooperative learning places students in small groups (research shows 3 to 5 the most effective), who are assigned a task. The goal of the team is to reach a consensus within a limited amount of time and produce a report, usually written. Every member has the individual responsibility of being able to explain the teamís result within the group and outside of it. To promote team effectiveness, members should have well-defined social roles and rotate them. You should also form the groups so that they are heterogeneous and mix people based on, say, pretest results.

Interactive Lesson Guide for Astronomy:
Cooperative Learning Activities (2nd edition)


Sample Activity

Selected Works

Interactive Lesson Guide for Astronomy: Cooperative Learning Activities, 2nd edition
Another quality product in the Active Learning Astronomy Series
Insights into the Universe (2003)
Edited by Timothy F. Slater and Michael Zeilik. This book is a collection of AstroNotes columns and related articles from The Physics Teacher.
Astronomy: The Evolving Universe (9th edition)
Revised and streamlined, this edition features materials based on astronomy education research.
Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics (4th edition)
A classic revised and updated with co-author Steve Gregory.

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