The impact of some selected factors in cooperative learning on the improvement of academic performance and social behavior among grade five students at a primary school – SOCIAL SKILLS

Essay by ReggaeyouthUniversity, Master'sA+, September 2009

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Social skills are arguably the most important set of abilities a person can have. Human beings are social animals and a lack of good social skills can lead to a lonely life, contributing to anxiety and depression. Great social skills help you to meet interesting people, get that job you want, progress further in your career and relationships. (Eggen, 1997). The interpersonal skills cited as being enhanced by cooperative learning are communication, leadership, decision-making, conflict management, and team skills such as trust, support and consensus.

Felder (1997) states that behaviour required for successful communication in cooperative groups are speaking clearly with good voice quality and correct pace (and in the classroom setting, writing legibly and listening actively while maintaining eye contact. Communication styles invaluable in cooperative learning are description, problem orientation, spontaneity, empathy, equality, and provisionalism. Communication styles challenging to cooperation are evaluation, control, strategy, neutrality, superiority, and certainty.

Feng and Carledge (1996) define social skills as those communication, problem-solving, decision-making, self-management, and peer-relation abilities that allow one to initiate and maintain positive social relationships with others.

Deficits or excesses in social behaviour interfere with learning, teaching, and the classroom's orchestration and climate. Social competence is linked to peer acceptance, teacher acceptance, and post-school success.

Melloy and Davius (1998) argue that displaying poor social skills is likely to get students rejected by others. The writers note that there are children who display good social skills but are still rejected by others. There are also other times when pupils may still fail because they have difficulty monitoring and controlling their behaviour when unexpected reactions occur.

The writers claim that good social skills are critical to successful functioning in life. These skills enable us to know what to say, how to make good choices, and how to behave in diverse situations. The...