on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 12, Issue 2, Article 7 (Dec., 2011)
Discussion of findings
The result that treatment had significant effect on students’ achievement and attitude towards chemical kinetics showed that the treatment conditions in this study had the potentials to improve students’ learning outcomes in secondary schools.
The findings that STAD without competition was more effective as a teaching strategy than STAD with competition indicated that inter-team competition may negatively influence performance and productivity. This is evident in this study for the control group even performed better than the students in the STAD with competition. This result could be better understood from Bandura’s (1956) modeling theory that stressed the importance of social interaction for direct observations and imitation of successful behaviour from peers. This findings provided empirical support to earlier findings; McAuiliffe, (1970); Johnson and collegues (1981); Fuyunju, (1998); Uduosoro, (2000); Popoola (2002) that established that cooperation without inter-team competition promoted better achievement and productivity than cooperation with inter-team competition. In this study it was noticed during treatment that students in STAD with competition were concerned mostly on how to surpass other groups. This make them to be restless most of the time and therefore unable achieve maximally. This is contrary to the situation in the group of STAD without competition where group members share ideas and receive explanations on difficult concepts from their peers and then answer the quiz questions individually. The above conditions may probably accounts for why students in the STAD without competition achieved better than students in STAD with competition.
The finding that STAD with competition had better effects on students’ attitude towards chemical kinetics in this study can be attributed to the fact that students in STAD with competition group did all the learning exercise together throughout the treatment period (i.e. treatment of worksheets and the answering of the quiz questions). This coupled with the healthy competition with members of other teams may probably be responsible for the students showing more positive attitude than students in other groups. This finding is at variance with that of Fu-yun-yu (1998) who found out that cooperation without competition promote better attitude than cooperation with competition.
This study was necessitated by the concern arising from the need to find out if inter-team competition is necessary for fulfilling many of the reported beneficial characteristics of cooperative learning or not as well as providing avenue for effective instructional strategy for teaching chemistry. It was found out that cooperation without inter-team competition promoted better achievement and productivity than cooperation with inter-team competition. It was therefore not necessary to have one team competing against other teams in order to promote better achievement in a cooperative learning setting.
Based on the findings, of this study, it is recommended that to promote students’ cognitive and effective development in a cooperative learning situation, student teams- achievements divisions (STAD) without inter-team competition is the preferred instructional strategy to adopt as compared to cooperation with inter-team competition goals structuring method.
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