Including Children with Special
Needs: Cooperative Groups
Inclusive children blend much better
academically and physically into a classroom where cooperative
groups are being used to further academic achievement.
I've also found that the academic performance of a cooperative
group often reaches a higher level than the individual
students would have reached on their own. The down side
to cooperative grouping is that you don't really know if
the students in a given group are going to gel until after
you start the lesson. To cut down the risk of failure when
deciding the composition of cooperative groups, I advise:
Learning everything you can about
your class, especially their past academic achievements.
I keep a data base with every year's standardized test
scores for every child that is likely to become a member
of my class.
Not letting the children decide the
Creating groups in which the non-inclusive
students have similar or equal achievement levels.
Letting the students sit where they
want to before you group them. Observe who they sit with
and then try to avoid putting them in the same group.
Seating students that you intend
to group together close to each other and observing how
Observing potential group members
outside the classroom, in the playground or cafeteria,
to see how they interact.
Never putting more then one inclusive
student into a cooperative group.
Keeping the cooperative group size
to 2,3 or 4 students with 3 being the most desirable.
Changing group membership very reluctantly.
If the members of the group know that there is no chance
of changing groups, all but a very few will learn to
Several years ago a new automobile assembly
plant opened in our area offering $22-an-hour jobs with full
benefits. In the last and most important step in the application
process, each prospective employee was asked to perform a simple
task. The only two criteria used to judge that part of the
evaluation were: could the applicant follow directions and
could the applicant work successfully as part of a group.
Come across an outdated link?
Please visit The Wayback Machine to find what you are looking for.