The effects of cooperative learning incorporated with challenge education on social skill development and self-concept
This study examined the effects of cooperative learning combined with the philosophy of Challenged education on social skill and self concept development. The participants were sixth grade students from two different classrooms in a rural midwestern school district. One class was the control and the other the experimental group.During a nine week intervention the experimental group was involved with cooperative learning/Challenge Education while the control group maintained their usual schedule that did not include cooperative learning/Challenge Education. Previous to and following the intervention, the students' social skills were rated by themselves, their teachers, and their parents. In addition, the students rated their own academic and nonacademic self concepts. Measurement tools used were standardized assessment instruments.Two separate multivariate analysis of variance were computed: one for social skills and one for self concept. Following the social skills MANOVA simple interaction effects analyses were calculated followed by simple effects analysis. The results of the MANOVA revealed a significant interaction between time of testing and treatment when examining social skills. Significant interactions were found for parent ratings and teacher ratings. The students' ratings did not reveal a significant interaction. The simple effects analyses for teacher reports revealed the teachers' ratings of students' social skills differed on the pretest; however, the posttest did not reveal a significant difference between group's social skills. No effect were found on the self-concept scale. It was concluded that the intervention may not have produced the desired effects because students had attained only the awareness level of development according to the challenge education model. Therefore, further research using awareness as the outcome seems warranted.