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IASCE past awards

October 2015—Odense, Denmark

The IASCE 2015 Award for Outstanding Contributions Through Leadership: Yael Sharan

2015 marked the first time the IASCE had presented an award for Outstanding Contributions Through Leadership and we were pleased to name Yael Sharan as the recipient of this award.

Yael Sharan is one of the founding members of IASCE and she has continuously and enthusiastically supported the organization since that time. She has built partnerships with other organizations—notably IAIE: the International Association for Intercultural Education, and has nurtured professional relationships that have resulted in conference collaborations such as Odense 2015.

Yael Sharan is the co-developer of the Group Investigation model (with Shlomo Sharan) and has provided workshops and consulting related to that model in over 20 countries around the world. Those who read the IASCE Newsletter have enjoyed her vivid descriptions of conferences she has attended; these descriptions invariably focus on the contributions of others rather than her own work and include thought-provoking observations related to local customs. Yael is known for her generosity. As a workshop facilitator, she has a long tradition of inviting colleagues to co-facilitate workshops on a wide range of topics linked to cooperative learning. When she co-facilitates, she engages in vigorous co-planning and is a model of curiosity and experimentation.

While Yael Sharan publishes regularly in scholarly journals and edited volumes, another measure of her generosity is her ongoing willingness to serve as a guest editor for cooperative-learning themed journal issues. When she does this work, she invariably identifies new voices and nurtures their success; she is consistently more interested in voices that extend the boundaries of our understanding about the uses of cooperative learning than she is in furthering a particular model.

The IASCE recognizes Yael Sharan for her vision and sustained leadership to the IASCE and for her ongoing commitment to support the multiple generations of scholars whose voices continue to inform the field.

Roger T. Johnson, Yael Sharan and David W. Johnson at the awards ceremony, Odense 2015

The IASCE 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award: Morton Deutsch, David W. Johnson, and Roger T. Johnson

This marks the first time that the IASCE presents its Lifetime Achievement Award jointly to three distinguished individuals who have worked both separately and together to advance our understanding of what grounds effective cooperative teamwork, conflict resolution, constructive controversy, peace education, and distributive justice. Each one stands tall among theorists, researchers, and practitioners. Morton Deutsch is E.L. Thorndike Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Director Emeritus of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR) at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, USA. David W. Johnson is Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology and Roger T. Johnson is Professor Emeritus of Curriculum and Instruction, both at the University of Minnesota, USA. At the university, David Johnson and Roger Johnson are founders and long-time Co-Directors of the Cooperative Learning Center (CLC) in the College of Education and Human Development.

Mort (doctoral student of Kurt Lewin, credited founder of social psychology) originally conceptualized and pioneered validation of social interdependence theory. It was further extended and refined by David (doctoral student of Deutsch) and Roger (brother of David and professional collaborator for over 45 years at the University of Minnesota).  They examined and validated this theory and built a model of Cooperative Learning often referred to as “Learning Together.” It is defined by five basic elements that support successful cooperative groupwork. Distinctive are their continuous, long-term programs of research conducted on every continent and prolific book publications, chapters, and journal articles that have been translated into numerous languages. Their professional development trainings have helped to transform theory into practice. They have developed original materials for application across diverse contexts including education, business, law, government, nonprofit, health, and social-service settings.  They have worked with global leaders and international organizations such as the United Nations to support social justice by applying findings to issues of oppression and injustice. They encourage networks around the world that are dedicated to enhancing peoples’ productivity, achievement, positive peer relations, and social/emotional well-being. Cumulatively they hold over 100 honors, awards, and recognitions for their significant contributions to theory, research, and practice on effective cooperation, constructive conflict, and social justice.

The IASCE recognizes Morton Deutsch, David W. Johnson, and Roger T. Johnson as living legacies whose scope of work has enormously influenced our collective understanding of what contributes to successful teamwork, constructive conflict, and interpersonal dynamics for a just and humane world.

David W. Johnson, Morton Deutsch and Roger T. Johnson

You can view Morton Deutsch receiving his award and an exclusive interview with Laurie Stevahn here (YouTube).

July 2013—Scarborough, England

Outstanding Contributions to Research: Robert Slavin and Nancy Madden

Robert Slavin and Nancy Madden attended the first IASCE international conference in 1979 and Bob served as president of the association from 1986-1988. Bob is currently Director of the Institute for Effective Education at the University of York (United Kingdom) and former Director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University (United States). Among other accomplishments, Bob is well known as a champion of best-evidence analysis and he has applied this methodology to a variety of fields—notably student achievement and cooperative learning.

Nancy Madden is the current president of the Success for All Foundation; Bob serves as the current chairperson and was a co-founder. The Foundation supports development, research and implementation of comprehensive restructuring programs designed to help schools meet the needs of all learners. Through the foundation, Bob and Nancy regularly collaborate on curricular and instructional research and implementation projects aimed at improving the life chances of children. 

Together, Drs. Slavin and Madden are a powerful alliance and have demonstrated sustained commitment to their work. Their work is a significant contribution to our collective understanding of the varied interpretations and uses of cooperation in education.

Outstanding Dissertation: Usha Borkar

Usha Borkar developed a training package for pre-service teachers that focused on cooperative learning. In her study, a carefully crafted experimental design,
she examined pre-service teachers’ attitudes, knowledge base, and skills at lesson planning that utilized cooperative learning strategies. Her literature review was extensive and well organized.

Dr. Borkar’s thesis, Development of Training Package Based on Cooperative Learning Strategy for Student Teachers was completed as part of her requirements for a Ph.D. at the Department of Education, S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Mumbai, India.

In her nomination, Dr. Madhura Kesarkar emphasized Usha’s constructivist approach, the contributions of her work to encouraging a shift away from expository teaching, and the importance of the training package approach within the Indian context.

November 2010—Brisbane, Australia

Isabella Pescarmona, Richard Schmuck, Robyn Gillies and Spencer Kagan

Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Schmuck

Richard Schmuck was the keynote speaker at the first (1979) international conference on cooperative learning, at which IASCE was founded. His address focused on themes that extended the dimensions of cooperative learning beyond the classroom, to include strategies that engage students in school-wide governance and encourage cooperation among students, teachers, and administrators to establish cooperative cultures.

Dr. Schmuck was the elected first president of IASCE and, throughout the years of IASCE's history, he has been a stalwart supporter of the association. He has attended and contributed to many IASCE conferences. He has been a prolific writer, authoring many articles and books on the theme of cooperation in education. He has chaired doctoral dissertations for many who went on to serve in schools and colleges across the US and in 15 other countries. Dr. Schmuck continues to consult and teach in school districts, community colleges, and universities worldwide.

Outstanding Contributions to Research: Robyn Gillies

Robyn Gillies is a widely respected researcher in the areas of learning sciences, classroom discourse, instruction, and student behavior. One important feature of her published work is a consistent focus on building connections between the theories that underlie the study of group dynamics and their practical applications to classrooms. Dr. Gillies has worked extensively in schools and her research has provided insights in a broad range of areas, including assessment practices for measuring the outcomes of cooperative learning, the role and value of group experiences in the promotion of socialization and peer friendships, the role of the teacher in designing and facilitating cooperative learning, and the critical importance of interactional styles in facilitating learning.

Dr. Gillies is an elected member of the IASCE Board of Directors and an associate professor in the School of Education at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. The quality, breadth, and applied nature of her research combine to make her work an exemplar of a professional dedicated to the sustained study of cooperative learning.

Outstanding Contributions through the Creation of Cooperative Instructional Materials: Spencer Kagan

Spencer Kagan is founder and director of Kagan Publishing and Professional Development. Through this organization, he has disseminated a wide variety of materials that reflect the vital connection between the vast fields of ongoing research and the practice of cooperative learning. He supports a firm and wide base for the sustainability of cooperative learning practices. His contributions have included Cooperative Learning—a comprehensive teacher-training manual that has been translated into many languages, workshops and training sessions facilitated by him and his team, and the publication of teacher-oriented materials by many additional authors.  

Dr. Kagan participated in the first international conference in 1979 and has supported IASCE since that time. His sustained focus on cooperative learning and his work with teachers worldwide combine to make his work an exemplar of commitment to the dissemination of cooperative learning.

Outstanding Contributions through Service and Activism: Alan Wilkins

Alan Wilkins has played a key role in disseminating and applying the thinking and practice of cooperation into a wide range of sectors in the United Kingdom and internationally, He coordinated the first-co-operative education conference in the United Kingdom in 1987 and established a template for over 30 subsequent national events.

What is distinctive about a UK perspective on co-operative approaches to learning is that pedagogic practice is aligned with co-operative values. Within this context, Mr. Wilkins articulated the links between co-operative behavior, structures and values. Amongst his professional roles, he was Head of Learning at the UK Co-operative College. Subsequently he has formed Co-operative Learning and Development Associates, a training co-operative committed to keeping co-operative learning approaches vibrant and at the leading edge. Mr. Wilkins’ sustained commitment to co-operative approaches and his focus on the alignment of behaviors, structures and values in a variety of sectors combine to make his work an exemplar of commitment to an examination of systems thinking and community based co-operative enterprise.

Maureen Breeze, IASCE Co-President presents Alan Wilkins with his award

Outstanding Dissertation: Isabella Pescarmona

Isabella Pescarmona completed an ethnographic study that explored teachers’ professional identity as they implemented cooperative learning in classrooms. The study represents a two-year observation of educational innovation through the introduction, production, and assessment of original Complex Instruction teaching units in a new social, cultural, and political context. Her work provides insights into the effects of this innovation on the choices, strategies, and changes in teachers’ professional identity and on their students’ competences. It also analyzes the potential role of Complex Instruction in multicultural classrooms.

Dr. Pescarmona’s dissertation--completed as part of her studies at the Department of the Science of Education at the University of Torino, Italy--documents the work of an emerging scholar with a command of the research in comparative education and strong knowledge and well-developed practice in Complex Instruction.

June 2008—Nagoya, Japan

Outstanding Dissertation: Julia Tsu-chia Hsu

Julia Hsu completed an action research study that grew out of her concerns while teaching university students in Taipei, Taiwan. Julia located her problem within the political and policy context of higher education in Taiwan, showing the need for change in teaching and learning to position Taiwanese to compete in the global economies. Based on a careful review of the literature on foreign language learning, motivation theory, task-based learning approaches and cooperative learning, she created an imaginative research design where she was both the teacher and researcher. Her findings suggest that cooperative group strategies, within a task-based approach to reading instruction, improved student motivation as well as overall English language proficiency.

Dr. Hsu’s Thesis—completed as part of her studies at the School of Education, University of Durham, England— documents the work of an emerging teacher and scholar. It also reflects Dr. Elizabeth Cohen’s values of empowering teachers to conduct classroom research into the barriers that impede students at all levels of education from learning.

Lynda Baloche, IASCE Co-President presents Julia Hsu with her award

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