Wayne Ellis said >One thing I have learned is >that there is a difference in group work and co-operative >learning. Too often I think teachers put students in groups to >work problems and call it co-operative learning. While I agree >that this is better than having students work problems >individually, I do not think this is co-operative learning.
I think this an important point. One reason it's difficult and time-consuming to plan cooperative learning lessons is that few of us have witnessed or experienced this type of teaching as students. As is often the case in using technology, we have to invent the instructional model ourselves -- some find this invigorating, others daunting. In the context of teaching 5 periods a day, 5 days a week, it's amazing that anyone succeeds in trying anything new.
The _Mathematics Teacher_ journal has been interested in publishing articles that address cooperative learning lessons of the type the Wayne describes (in contrast to group work). As a past Panel member of the journal, I saw very few manuscripts addressing Wayne's definition of cooperative learning.
The Panel believes other teachers would appreciate learning about the type of classroom-tested cooperative learning lessons. The Sharing Teaching Ideas section is one place for this type of article. If you have an idea, put it on paper and submit it (MATHEMATICS TEACHER, NCTM, 1906 Association Dr. Reston, VA 22091-1593). Help in developing the article is available as part of the review process.