Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

MS in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education

First Supervisor

Diane Barrett


This study examined the effectiveness of jigsaw and group investigation cooperative learning methods in a 9th grade living environment (LE) class. This study was carried out in four different LE classes during the 2008-2009 academic school year. Each of the classes sequentially participated in a jigsaw and group investigation (GI) activity. The scores from previous traditional delivered instruction were used as control group. Students in the jigsaw group were divided into five home groups (Groups A, B, C, D and E). Each of these home groups consisted of four students (pending on class size). In the jigsaw activity, students examined various symbiotic relationships among species. Each home group was divided into expert groups. Each expert group had to redefine the symbiotic relationship in their own words and explain their definition to their home groups. The GI activity focused on human impact on the environment. Student investigated different environmental topics in heterogeneous groups and created a poster that illustrated causes and effects of the assigned issue. Quizzes were utilized in both instructional strategies to obtain qualitative data. The data identified group investigation as the most effective method of instruction. The study also concluded that the implementation of both CL methods in a classroom does positively impact student performance, while traditional instruction yields unfavorable results.