Effects of co-operative learning on the mathematics achievement of Years 4 and 5 pupils in Britain: A randomised control trial

Louise Tracey, N.A. Madden, R.S. Slavin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


International comparisons of achievements in mathematics suggest that children in England are under‐achieving in this key subject. Many studies have suggested that co‐operative learning techniques have particular promise in mathematics and may therefore offer a solution to this problem. This article presents the findings of a large‐scale randomized control trial designed to evaluate a co‐operative learning mathematics intervention (based on the Student Teams–Achievement Divisions programme), involving Year 4 and Year 5 pupils in 34 primary schools in England. In contrast to studies conducted elsewhere, this evaluation found no significant improvements in children’s mathematics achievement as a result of the introduction of the co‐operative learning programme. The authors argue that this may be due to limitations of the programme as adapted to the English context but suggest that the study itself demonstrates a willingness by head teachers and schools to participate in adopting innovative interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-97
Number of pages13
JournalEffective Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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