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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-11

The effectiveness of cooperative teaching method in mental health subject on the dimensions of emotional intelligence and academic achievement


Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication3-Apr-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Zohre Saadatmand
Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University of Isfahan, Khorasgan Branch, Isfahan
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jepr.jepr_77_16

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  Abstract 


AIM AND PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of cooperative teaching in mental health subject on the dimensions of emotional intelligence and academic achievement of students in vocational high schools in the education district 5 in Isfahan in the academic year 2015–2016.
METHODS: The method of the study was quasi-experimental, and the sample consisted of two classes of 15 people (totally thirty students) who were selected by random sampling to participate in the study (study population consisted of two vocational schools, each of which has a class of 15 people). Then, the selected sample was randomly divided into two groups of experimental and control. The experimental group received the cooperative learning. Data collection tools were the achievement test consisting of twenty questions according to Bloom's taxonomy of objectives in cognitive domain and the scale of Bar-On Emotional Intelligence (1980) youth version consisting of ninety questions and five subscales (general mood, interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, adaptability, and stress management). The Cronbach's alpha reliability for the questionnaire of emotional intelligence was 0.78.
RESULTS: Data analysis was doneon two levels of descriptive statistics (frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (ANCOVA). The results showed that there was a significant difference at the level of P < 0.05 between academic achievement and emotional intelligence in groups.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Also, there was no significant difference at the level of P < 0.05 between groups in subscale scores in the dimensions of intrapersonal, stress management, and emotional intelligence. In addition, there was a significant difference at the level of P < 0.05 between groups in subscale scores in the dimensions of interpersonal, adaptability, and general mood level of emotional intelligence.

Keywords: Adaptability, general mood, interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, stress management


How to cite this article:
Kaviani S, Saadatmand Z. The effectiveness of cooperative teaching method in mental health subject on the dimensions of emotional intelligence and academic achievement. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2018;4:6-11

How to cite this URL:
Kaviani S, Saadatmand Z. The effectiveness of cooperative teaching method in mental health subject on the dimensions of emotional intelligence and academic achievement. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Aug 17];4:6-11. Available from: http://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2018/4/1/6/229138




  Introduction Top


Rapid and progressive transition from the past to the present and from the present to the future with its global, pervasive, and transnational nature has caused educational institutions and their teaching–learning strategies to encounter difficult challenges.[1] Survival of education system through traditional teaching, focusing on the textbook subjects, considering students as obedient recipients, and considering teachers as the pivot of education process is not possible in this precipitate world. Recognizing this fact, some fundamental changes (with different importance and different speed and quality) have occurred in education system of different countries in the past three decades. These developments can be generally classified into three groups as follows:

  1. Active, collaborative, learner- and process-centered teaching and learning
  2. Applying information and communication technology in teaching and learning
  3. Focusing on teaching global view skills in various fields.[1]


Today, the subject of active learning methods, active learning, and active learner has found a special place in educational issues. However, several factors hinder the learner's social development and academic achievement; passive teaching and learning method is the most important factor. Participatory learning is one of the active learning methods that gives students the opportunity to participate in academic discussions and to take the learning responsibility and become critical thinkers.[2] According to education experts, the learners who learn through collaborative learning not only learn better but also enjoy learning more; because instead of being mere listeners, they actively participate in the learning process and they take the responsibility of their own learning.[2] Proponents of cooperative learning approach indicate that the learners take an active role in the learning process through collaborative work.[3]

Cooperative learning is one of the ways in which group activities are seen more. This method of learning has both strong theoretical support and empirical support; this method is the opposite of individual competition. This method of learning has been supported by behaviorists and learning experts.[4]

Cooperative learning can provide better learning conditions. Wiersema [5] considers cooperative learning as a moderation in working together, building together, learning together, changing and developing together, and helping each other's growth.[5] Cooperative efforts cause the members' attempt for bilateral benefits as they benefit each other's success. They believe in the impact of the performance of their friends, and they are proud and happy of each member's success and improvement.[6] In addition, educational success and improvement in every society is an indication of the success of education system in the field of satisfying personal needs. Therefore, education system is considered efficient and successful when its learners' achievement is at the greatest level in different periods.[7]

Slavin [8] carried out an investigation in the field of the impact of cooperative learning on students' achievement in mathematics. The results of the study showed very high scores in collaborative groups.[8] Regarding the difference between cooperative and ordinary groups, Hirest andChristy [9] have quoted from Jonson and Jonson (2001) that a cooperative group has 2–5 members who work together to achieve a common goal.[9] Studies by Jonson and Jonson [10] have shown that the techniques of collaborative learning have promoted students' learning and academic achievement.[10]

Another variable that is examined in this study is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is considered as the ability to recognize the meanings of emotions and their relationships and problem-solving on their basis.[11] Emotional intelligence is confirmed because of its benefits such as improving the level of self-confidence, flexibility, sympathy, directing the behavior, enjoying life, and being successful in life; it is considered a constructive factor in the person's social life.[12] As a result, emotional intelligence can have an important role in achieving the success in various fields of education and employment. According to Cherniss, emotional intelligence is essential for competences that matter most to health, happiness, and success in life.[12]

Students who engage in learning through active learning learn better and enjoy the learning experience more.[2] Applying active methods instead of traditional passive methods has been vastly suggested.[13] Emotional intelligence and its improvement at school are very important and teachers should consider the skills of emotional intelligence in addition to promoting cognitive skills and academic achievement and they should apply a teaching approach that is learner centered.[14]

Therefore, one of the major functions of education system might be providing the conditions in which the learners can express themselves, can get higher levels of education, and can overcome the challenges in life and education.[15] Lack of assertiveness and self-efficacy, on the one hand, and high rates of academic problems, on the other hand, increase the importance of emotional intelligence.[15] Improving the quality of learning in vocational technical centers and preparing students for the future and the complex life in the 21st century is one of the objectives of the education system. The results of numerous research studies show that the academic performance of students in this course explains a significant percentage of their future progress.[16]

Overall, the conducted studies show the significance of cooperative teaching method. In this regard, Walker et al.[17] conducted a study at Minnesota University and concluded that cooperative teaching method was more effective than the explanatory teaching method. Furthermore, the results of the study by Kyndt and Raes (2013) revealed a positive impact of cooperative learning on improvement and attitudes.[17] In addition, in a reviewing study regarding the effect of learning methods in small groups, Kalaian and Kasim [18] concluded that cooperative learning methods are effective on the improvement of academic achievement.[18]

Regarding the results of the conducted studies and the effect of cooperative learning on the subjects, the effect of this method on mental health subject has been dealt within this study. Appearance of mental diseases goes back to the onset of human's creation. Superstitious views on the cause of mental diseases and their treatment used to create more inconveniences for humans. Fortunately, nowadays, the way of superstitious view has been blocked with the emergence of scientific view about the prevention and treatment of mental diseases and providing new solutions; it has been clarified that mental diseases can be prevented like physical diseases.[12] Regarding the mentioned issues, the mental health subject was chosen in this study, because in this book, the basic issues about mental health have been presented in a simple language and by giving appropriate examples to provide students' practical use of the mentioned issues. Meanwhile, vocational education should step beyond training skillful people and should improve their personality and attitude and promote their understanding, judgment, self-expression, and adaptability as well as providing general education. The effect of cooperative learning on academic achievement and emotional intelligence in vocational high schools has less been dealt with. Therefore, the aim of this study is to answer this question: Is the cooperative teaching method in mental health subject effective on academic achievement and dimensions of emotional intelligence in the female students of vocational high school?


  Methods Top


A quasi-experimental method with pre- and post-test and control group was used. The population consisted of the students in vocational high schools in the academic year 2015–2016. At first, from among the girls' vocational high schools, two schools were randomly selected, and then from among this population, thirty students were selected and randomly divided into two groups (15 in experimental and 15 in control groups).

The tool used in this research was achievement test. Achievement test includes a pre- and a post-test each containing twenty questions. In accordance with the classified objectives, Bloom's cognitive domain was conducted at a given time for both groups in the form of a pre- and a post-test. The follow-up test was held after 2 months. The content validity of the achievement test was analyzed by several mental health teachers, and face validity of the test was estimated by a number of vocational high school students.

Bar-On Emotional Intelligence Scale youth version

This test measures five subscales of general mood, interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, adaptability, and stress management. This test consists of ninety questions and five subscales. The validity of the youth version of emotional intelligence scale was confirmed by expert teachers. The reliability of the questionnaire was obtained 0.78 through Cronbach's alpha.

Research procedure

Before the implementation of teacher's intervention, the experimental group received training for cooperative teaching and the intended content (chapters 7 and 8 of mental health textbook) was given to them. Before the first teaching session, the pretest (of Bar-On Emotional Intelligence) was given to both experimental and control groups and the scores of the achievement test of the first semester were used as the achievement pretest. After that, the achievement test was conducted at the beginning of the study; the experimental group received mental health training by cooperative method in ten 90-min sessions in 5 weeks (two sessions per week).

In the experimental group, jigsaw technique was used in cooperative teaching method, and the students were divided into three main groups, each group consisted of five people.

  1. Group A included students A1, A2, A3, A4, and A5
  2. Group B involved students B1, B2, B3, B4, and B5
  3. Group C included students C1, C2, C3, C4, and C5.


Three number 1 students, three number 2 students, three number 3 students, three number 4 students, and three number 5 students gathered and constituted expert groups.

  • The expert group 1 included students A1, B1, and C1
  • The expert group 2 included students A2, B2, and C2
  • The expert group 3 included students A3, B3, and C3
  • The expert group 4 included students, A4, B4, and C4
  • The expert group 5 included students A5, B5, and C5.


The subject that was supposed to be taught was divided between the expert groups. Each group discussed its own content. Finally, each student returned to their original group and explained the subject matter as an expert for the group. During the group work, the teacher monitored the groups and made sure that they were doing the right thing and answered their questions. The data were analyzed on two levels of descriptive statistics and inferential statistics (multivariate analysis of covariance). The obtained data were analyzed using SPSS version 20 (IBM).

Ethical considerations

Students were assured that the results of the tests were confidential and they are used only for this study.


  Results Top


The first hypothesis

Cooperative teaching method in mental health subject is effective on the academic achievement of female students in vocational high schools [Table 1].
Table 1: Covariance analysis of academic achievement scores

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Achievement between the groups means the difference between the academic achievement of students in the experimental and control groups is significant.

The second hypothesis

Cooperative teaching method in mental health subject is effective on the emotional intelligence of female students in vocational high schools [Table 2].
Table 2: Covariance analysis of emotional intelligence scores

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The results showed that there was a statistically significant difference on the level of P < 0.05 in emotional intelligence scores between the groups, which means the difference between the emotional intelligence scores of students in the experimental and control groups is significant.

The results in [Table 3] show that there is no statistically significant difference at the level of P < 0.05 between the groups in intrapersonal and stress management scores of emotional intelligence of students, which means the difference between the scores of interpersonal and stress management of emotional intelligence in experimental and control groups is not significant. In addition, there was a significant difference between the groups in interpersonal, adaptability, and general mood scores of the emotional intelligence of students at P < 0.05 level, that is, the difference between interpersonal, adaptability, and general mood scores of emotional intelligence in control and experimental groups is statistically significant.
Table 3: Covariance analysis of component scores of emotional intelligence

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The third hypothesis

Cooperative teaching method in mental health subject is effective on the academic improvement and emotional intelligence of female students in vocational high schools.

The results of [Table 4] indicate that there is a statistically significant difference at the level of P < 0.05 between the groups in academic achievement and emotional intelligence, that is, the difference between academic achievement and emotional intelligence scores of students in the experimental and control groups is significant.
Table 4: Covariance analysis of academic achievement and emotional intelligence scores

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  Discussion and Conclusion Top


The present study aimed to analyze the effect of cooperative teaching method in mental health subject on academic improvement and emotional intelligence of female students in vocational high schools. The results showed that cooperative teaching method in mental health subject has increased the academic achievement scores of female students in vocational high schools. The results of this study are in line with the results of the research by Yazdianpour et al. (2009), Hassani et al. (2012), Tony et al. (2013), Feizi (2014), Gillis (2004), Armstrong et al. (2007), Kyndt et al. (2013), Pouzio and Colby (2013), and Kalaian and Kasim.[18]

In clarification of this hypothesis, it should be mentioned that, from among the different methods of teaching and learning proposed by the experts, cooperative learning method seems to be more effective than other methods. Cooperative learning method is known as a means of improving mental skills and promoting the learning level and as a supplement for grouping the students based on their abilities and as a means for improving students' inter-racial relationship and preparing them for role-playing in group activities. Cooperative learning method is known as a situation in which every individual can achieve their goal if all the members can achieve their goals. In this technique, students have to cooperate with each other, teach each other, and rely on each other to achieve their goals. In this technique, each student has a special part of the lesson that the other students are unaware of it, so dependence on the group is created.

In addition, cooperative teaching methods in the subject of mental health have increased emotional intelligence scores of female students in vocational high schools. The results of this study are compatible with the results of new research by Pehrabad et al. (2013), Tony et al. (2013), Mayer (2000), Barandk (2005), and Kyndt et al. (2013), based on the teaching methods including participatory teaching methods on students' emotional intelligence. The findings indicate the effectiveness of cooperative learning on improvement of overall emotional intelligence and its components. In other words, the overall scores in three components of emotional intelligence and interpersonal, adaptability, and general mood in the pre- and post-test results were significant. This is a good sign for the effectiveness of group teaching methods and collaborative teaching on emotional intelligence.

The results confirmed that cooperative teaching method in mental health subject has been able to increase intrapersonal scores of emotional intelligence of female students in vocational high schools. The results of this study are not compatible with the results of research by Tony et al. (2013). The intrapersonal dimension is related to the peoples' emotions and gut feelings. The intrapersonal dimension is also related to the person's secondary characters such as being aggressive or passive and being masculine or feminine. Maybe that is why cooperative teaching has not been effective on this dimension. Schools should try to facilitate the learners' awareness about their secondary characters which constitute the learners' intrapersonal identity through various educational, cultural, and extracurricular programs, directed dreams, and nonverbal smart practices. And eventually, they should coordinate them together to realize the internal integrity of the learner.

The results confirmed that cooperative teaching method in mental health subject has been able to increase interpersonal scores of emotional intelligence of female students in vocational high schools. The results of this study are compatible with the results of research by Pehrabad et al. (2013).

In the explanation of the results, it can be said that cooperative and group teaching and learning can improve interpersonal skills among students. These results are consistent with the results of other conducted studies in this area. Cooperative teaching is effective on interpersonal skills such as diagnosing, understanding, and controlling the emotions, congeniality, and social capabilities. It is in line with the view of Eston (2007) about the effect of group and cooperative teaching on the reduction of anger and increasing self-esteem and improving the abilities to help others. The mentioned dimensions are all aspects of interpersonal components of emotional intelligence.

The results showed that cooperative teaching method in mental health subject has been able to increase adaptability scores of emotional intelligence of female students in vocational high schools. The results of this study are compatible with the results of research by Mayer (2000) who revealed that cooperative teaching method is effective on the dimensions of students' adaptability and control. The results of this research also showed that practical training and teaching by cooperative methods can increase the learners' adaptability. What is certain is that the person who has the high ability of solving problems has also the ability to adapt to any situation even if the situation is problematic.

The cooperative teaching method in mental health subject has not been able to increase stress management scores of emotional intelligence of female students in vocational high schools. The results of research by Barandak (2005) revealed that cooperative teaching method is effective on reducing the students' stress, but no research was found on the effect of cooperative teaching method on stress management. Stress or psychological pressure refers to any pressure or driving force that causes tension. It seems that stress has become a personal and individual attribute, and group activities and cooperative teaching might be less effective on stress management.

The results showed that cooperative teaching method in mental health subject has been able to increase general mood scores of emotional intelligence of female students in vocational high schools. The results of this study are compatible with the results of research by Kyndt and Raes (2013) who revealed that cooperative teaching method is effective on the students' general mood. Teaching methods, especially cooperative teaching method, have a great impact on adaptability to stressful experiences and incidents. The findings of this study showed that practical training of optimism and vitality strengthens the general mood in children. It means that the general mood of children can be improved by teaching them to see the full half of glass, being optimistic, having positive thoughts, ways of happiness, and enjoying themselves and others.

The cooperative teaching method in mental health subject has been able to increase academic achievement and emotional intelligence scores of female students in vocational high schools. The results of this study are compatible with the results of research by Tony et al.(2013) and Kyndt and Raes (2013) who revealed that cooperative teaching method is effective on the students' academic achievement and emotional intelligence. Kyndt and Raes (2013) have revealed the positive effects of cooperative learning on achievement and attitude.

According to the obtained results in this study and regarding the fact that the population was limited to female high school students and the subject was limited to mental health, it is suggested that, in the next research, more samples should be used so that the generalization of the results becomes more reliable and other subjects are included to make the comparison of the results of other similar studies possible.

Limitations of the study

  1. The population was limited to female high school students, so the generalization of the results to male students might be cautiously done
  2. The population was limited to high school students, so the results should not be generalized to other academic levels
  3. The population was limited to female high school students in Isfahan, so the generalization of the results to students in other cities might be cautiously done
  4. The research was limited to mental health research, so the results should not be generalized to other subjects.


Financial support and sponsorship

This study was financially supported by Islamic Azad University of Isfahan, Khorasgan Branch, Isfahan, Iran.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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