A field experiment was conducted to change current instructional methods in the classroom to cooperative, small-group teaching (SGT) instead of the whole-class, presentation-recitation method. Fifty teachers, constituting the majority of the staff in three elementary schools serving a lower class neighborhood in the larger Tel-Aviv, Israel area participated in this experiment which lasted more than 18 months. Findings revealed that: Implementation of SGT occurred during the second year of the project following eight months of workshops and the adoption of teacher self-help teams for monitoring classroom instructional performance. The experimental group registered a significant positive change on an attitude questionnaire indicating a more progressive and less controlling approach to teaching and to education in general. Implementers of small-group learning were found to be less conservative and more willing to take risks, more spontaneous and imaginative, more open to feelings, and more socially oriented than were teachers who did not implement the new methods in their classrooms. In intensive interviews conducted with all teachers, implementers of SGT expressed greater openness to educational innovations and a greater sense of being able to cope with problems in the classroom than teachers who did not implement the small-group approach.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology