PROGRAM » Kagan Cooperative Learning

Kagan Cooperative Learning

Dr. Spencer Kagan, founder of Kagan Cooperative Learning, utilized his knowledge and expertise in educational psychology to develop a method of cooperative learning that focused on student engagement in the classroom. He believed that harmonious classrooms that promote responsible learning and behaviors would improve students’ social skills and character qualities and thus promote their academic achievement. Decades later, his research is confirmed and grounded in best practices in many schools. Sycamore utilizes the Kagan Cooperative Learning model as one of our instructional practices.

Cooperative learning is an organized and structured approach to utilizing small groups of students who are enhancing their learning and interdependence. In Sycamore classrooms, students contribute to their learning through a division of work among students in a purposeful group setting. These groups promote positive interdependence on which students are responsible and accountable for completing one’s own assigned duties while working with other students. This model is an effective method of increasing the number of students engaged in the learning process and their efforts to work together as a team. Sycamore is focused on and committed to maximizing student engagement, which in turn will result in higher levels of academic learning and mastery of content standards while developing critical skills and fundamental dispositions.

Sycamore utilizes the seven components of effective cooperative learning in the classroom. The foundation of these components is based on four main principles;

(1) Positive Interdependence,

(2) Individual Accountability,

(3) Equal Participation, and

(4) Simultaneous.

These components are used to integrate learning and student engagement into content standard mastery.


The Seven Components


Cooperative learning instructional strategies


Forming and re-form the various types of teams


Managing cooperative classrooms


Creating a caring, cooperative community of learners


Developing powerful learning teams

Social Skills

Developing students ability to cooperate

Basic Principles

Utilizing the proven principles of cooperative learning


Sycamore students in grades TK-8 participate in Kagan Cooperative Learning and will benefit from a classroom environment that creates student accountability and engagement. Students will participate in group work, class and team building exercises that will lead to more effective classroom management and will minimize classroom disruptions.