kagan education theory

One teacher's curiosity was piqued by Kagan cooperative learning. She set out to learn more about its benefits and challenges, and here's what she found.

kagan education theory

Kagan education theory
This model assumes that most teachers utilize direct instruction and then turn to the class for a question-and-answer portion. Usually, a few students answer the questions while the majority of the class remains disengaged. Kagan cooperative learning ensures that every student is actively involved.
Witness more “lightbulb moments” with your students through the Kagan Cooperative Method.

Kagan, S. (1994). Cooperative learning. San Clemente: Resources for Teachers.
Gardner (1993) identified numerous kinds of human intelligence including: interpersonal Сndash; knowing how to effectively interact with others; intrapersonal Сndash; the ability to know oneself; mathematical; musical; linguistic; bodily-kinesthetic; spatial; and others. In Gardner’s view, people may differ in their natural talents but all talents are important, can be honed, and are worthy of appreciation.
Kagan and Kagan (1998) present CL activities that promote the various multiple intelligences (MI), via peer collaborative tasks involving music or skills such as drawing, classifying, computing, moving the body, requiring students to collaborate in teams (interpersonal), or be introspective (intrapersonal), etc.
Use of interpersonal intelligence CL structures enable the teacher to target interpersonal effectiveness as a skill for student development, which in turn helps foster peaceful classroom social environments. Intrapersonal intelligence is also linked to positive human relationships; research shows that persons who do not understand themselves are incapable of understanding others, and thus incapable of responding appropriately to others (Ciaramicoli & Ketcham, 2000; Goleman, 1995; Goodman, 2002; Kagan and Kagan, 1998; Meyers, 1994).
Using a variety of MI activities in class highlights the MIs of students. As students witness the diverse abilities of peers, and notice their usefulness while performing the structures, they learn to appreciate and value each other’s differing skills and gifts.

In addition to that, student also increases their higher level thinking skills. More to it, individual accountability will be credited, in which each student contribution will be held accountable, which result in equal participation from each student. There are students who raise hands while other sometimes or never raise hands to participate in the class, so through cooperative learning participation is also increased. Cooperative learning also introduces the sense of social orientation so that students find other students someone to work with rather than someone to beat. Lastly, the students learn the workplace skills which are a necessity in the twenty-first century as the students need to know how to work in groups.
Moving further, competitions will start between teams and the team not winning will stop trying. This will not only lower their grades but also their self-esteem. Another disadvantage which occurs due to cooperative learning is the dependency on the group members which make some student not able to work alone. Moreover, when controlling many groups you never know when a single group goes off-track from the task and till you find out a lot of time has been wasted. The worst disadvantage of cooperative learning is the parents of high achievers complaining that their son or daughter is being used in spending their precious time in teaching the dummies of the class.

Kagan education theory
In some instances, the structures seem to favour pure enjoyment rather than focusing on the learning. Engagement is vital in a primary classroom, but some of the structures are a little conceited. I’d suggest they are better for refreshing the techniques you use, rather than revolutionising them.
Should I be giving it a go?

Kagan education theory
I n this article, we contrast a conventional classroom lesson and its environment with a classroom where Kagan Structures are brought in. We discuss the benefits of the Structures and explain why this alternative approach to classroom organization works much better and has a long-term learning effect. Then, we present six of our favorite Kagan Structures that are particularly suitable for the language-learning context, and we offer you an overview and the support to apply them in your daily teaching routines.
Dr. Spencer Kagan

Resources:

http://hosted.jalt.org/pansig/PGL2/HTML/Nakagawa.htm
http://www.teach-nology.com/currenttrends/cooperative_learning/kagan/
http://www.tes.com/news/30-second-briefing-what-are-kagan-structures
http://www.kaganonline.com/free_articles/dr_spencer_kagan/281/Kagan-Structures-A-Miracle-of-Active-Engagement
http://www.vitalsource.com/products/comprehensive-multicultural-education-christine-i-bennett-v9780133522457