Has the overuse of cooperative learning led to students that cannot think on their own?

During my time in college over 20 years ago, the new pedagogical key to student learning was cooperative learning. This fantastic new idea allowed for the free exchange of ideas, critical thinking and guaranteed student engagement. Fast forward over 20 years and now we have students who will not think on their own . These students, whom I see in their sophomore and junior years in high school, are so used to being allowed to discuss everything that they refuse to read or think independently.

Don’t get me wrong. I see the benefits in cooperative learning and I do use this practice at times in my own classroom. However, I believe that the practice has been so overused and incorrectly implemented that we have created a generation of ultra- dependent students. What’s wrong with the general idea of ” everything in moderation”, even in the classroom?


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