n South African Journal of Higher Education - Understanding co-operative learning : a case study in tracing relationships to social constructivism and South African socio-educational thought

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The article outlines a case study whereby, in a BEd module on innovative teaching and learning strategies, students were challenged with the question: "How does co-operative learning relate to social constructivist learning theory, ubuntu, outcomes-based education (OBE) and (perhaps) the African Renaissance?" It describes how the students, through a co-operative learning process, researched and debated the question in four groups. The author's concerns that the students' view of educational practice might become inhibited by exposure to limited theories related to co-operative learning, were proven to be largely unfounded. The article concludes by arguing that co-operative learning as an innovative educational practice should be informed by multiple, relevant and contextualised theories, philosophies and approaches, enabling practitioners to make sense of why and how particular techniques should be employed to mediate learning, especially in a South African schooling environment.

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