Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Hyung Kim

Second Advisor

Dr. Younggon Bae

Third Advisor

Dr. Jenq-Jong Tsay


Teaching styles vary greatly amongst educators. One being extensively researched and highly discussed is the method of cooperative learning. Although many studies have shown the benefits of incorporating cooperative learning into classrooms, it has not been a widely used method of teaching in high school mathematics classrooms. This study explores some of the efforts that teachers, who utilize cooperative learning in their classrooms, make to implement cooperative learning lessons successfully. Furthermore, this study also explores the challenges these teachers have encountered when using cooperative learning. Data was collected qualitatively by interviews and surveys from six in-service high school teachers who planned and incorporated cooperative learning lessons in their classes. The data collected from interviews and surveys revealed that although many teachers potentially saw the benefits of the social interaction aspect of cooperative learning, they would not use this method of teaching regularly due to the difficulties of implementing an effective cooperative learning lesson. These difficulties included the amount of time it took to plan a cooperative learning lesson, not being trained on how to implement a cooperative learning lesson, and the students not knowing how to properly work together in a cooperative learning setting. It is beneficial to learn the challenges high school mathematics teachers have encountered in incorporating cooperative learning lessons so that those issues (challenges) can be addressed and be used to improve future cooperative learning lessons to make them as effective as possible. Furthermore, analyzing the various efforts teachers used to create an effective cooperative learning lesson and the challenges they encountered, indicates teachers would benefit from trainings on how to properly structure and implement cooperative learning lessons in their classrooms. With proper training and the willingness of teachers to apply cooperative learning in their classrooms, high school mathematics teachers can utilize effective cooperative learning strategies.


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