Can Cooperative Learning Achieve the Four Learning Outcomes of Physical Education? A Review of Literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


Physical learning, cognitive learning, social learning, and affective learning are positioned as the legitimate learning outcomes of physical education. It has been argued that these four learning outcomes go toward facilitating students’ engagement with the physically active life (Bailey et al., 2009; Kirk, 2013). With Cooperative Learning positioned as a pedagogical model capable of supporting these four learning outcomes (Dyson & Casey, 2012), the purpose of this review was to explore the empirical research in the use of Cooperative Learning in physical education reported on the achievement of learning in the physical, cognitive, social, and affective domains (or their equivalents). The review found that while learning occurred in all 4 domains, the predominant outcomes were reported in the physical, cognitive, and social domains. Affective learning was reported anecdotally, and it became clear that more work is required in this area. The article concludes by suggesting that research into the outcomes of this and other pedagogical models needs to focus on learning beyond the initial instructional unit and extend over a period of years and not just weeks.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-72
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Peer-assisted learning, group work, competitive, individualistic learning