One must commend the attempt to theoretically quantify and classify such a difficult and ephemeral concept as positive social forms of behavior. The author's stress upon the need for further use of small groups in educational practice, for instance, provides a practical template of behavior for the educator. (Stanne, Johnson & Johnson, 1999, 940) However, merely stressing the need for the positive use of social skills opens up the proverbial 'can of worms' in terms of teaching appropriate moral values to students within educational settings. Although ethics may be an appropriate subject of debate, particularly for older students, and learning to work well with others is a notable objective that educators must keep in mind, the practical application of this and expansion of this into the curriculum still remains vague after reading the article.
Identify areas for future research
Can schools foster positive networks of social relationships through group work alone, or must a sense of positive and mutual form of social interdependence arise from the home and the immediate community? Do students with strong civic affiliations in the form of churches and youth organizations demonstrate a greater ability to use cooperative work to their advantage in school? What role does gender and ethnicity play in this -- as girls are notable for their ability to form cooperative organizations earlier than boys and engage more in cooperative play, according to theorists such as Carol Gillian, might the stress upon social interdependence favor girls? Do ethnic social structures and ethnic affiliations within particular communities work for or against forming sense of social interdependence within school communities?
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