Better together: social outcomes of cooperative learning in the first grades of primary education


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This dissertation concerned an investigation of the impact of cooperative learning as part of the Dutch Success for All (SfA) program in the first grades of primary education (Grade 1 - Grade 3) on social outcomes. SfA is a comprehensive school reform program and especially directed at schools serving large numbers of disadvantaged students. In the daily SfA lessons, focused on language and reading, there is extensive use of cooperative learning. During cooperative learning, students work in pairs or small groups. Teachers give instruction in cooperative behaviors. Good teamwork is rewarded and successes are celebrated, for example with a team cheer. In the VS, positive effects of SfA on reading achievement were shown. Social outcomes of cooperative learning – although they are considered important – are rarely studied.
In general, this dissertation has shown promising results for the implementation of cooperative learning for young students in primary education. During group work, SfA students showed a higher level of talk and better behavior, that is more positive and less negative group work behavior. We did not find that students showed more prosocial and less antisocial behavior beyond group work, with the exception of the following finding in Grade 2: antisocial behavior of SfA students from disadvantaged background decreased, while antisocial behavior of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the control condition increased. Finally, we found an effect on relationships between classmates (whether students like to work together). In SfA classroom networks, there was a smaller tendency to fixed structures of small groups or clusters.
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Bosker, Roel, Supervisor
  • Snijders, Tom, Supervisor
  • Doolaard, Simone, Co-supervisor
Datum van toekenning1-jul.-2021
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
Gedrukte ISBN's978-90-6690-576-4
StatusPublished - 2021


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