Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Second Advisor

Dr. Patrick Jenlink

Third Advisor

Dr. Marilyn VanValkenburgh


The purpose of this study was to answer the following research questions:

1. Which teacher skills are necessary to implement effective teamwork in a classroom?

2. What kind of learning environment is optimal for implementing effective teamwork in a classroom?

3. In classrooms using teamwork, does greater student achievement occur than in classrooms not using teamwork?

The study outlined the specific teacher skills and described the optimal learning environment for implementing cooperative strategies in high school classrooms. To address the third question , an experimental study was conducted in which sixty-four 10th-,11th-, and 12th-grade Business Applications and Technology students in two urban high schools with similar demographics were assigned randomly to one of four sections (two at each school). Each group had 16 students, and each treatment class of students was heterogeneously grouped into teams according to ability (high, low, and average) as determined by criterion-referenced pretests. The same two teachers, one at School 1 and one at School 2, taught both the treatment and control classes. Both teachers had the same training and supervision, and they both taught their jointly-developed lesson plans simultaneously.

The findings of the study were mixed, though the treatment group at School 2 clearly outperformed the control group at School 2. However, there was a positive correlation between attendance and achievement at both schools in the treatment groups.

Possible reasons for these inconsistencies were presented and recommendations were made to improve future studies on this topic. Also, a thorough discussion of all of the benefits to students regarding cooperative skill development that resulted from this research was presented.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access