This study aimed to explore the process and effects of an action research on the application of cooperative learning to animal protection for senior grades of elementary school students, as well as the progress of teachers. Subjects of this research were 23 sixth grade students in an elementary school where the researcher teaches in. This research included three main topics and a nine-credit animal protection course for two months. The research was able to execute qualitative data analysis with the help of teaching plans, self-examination records and notes from teachers, and documents from students. Data from animal protection questionnaire was further analyzed by dependent sample T-tests, one-way ANCOVA and nonparametric test, which was summarized as follows:
1.Some problems such as bad group interaction, poor cooperative skills, keeping order in class and time delays arisen from applying cooperative learning to animal protection. Besides a proper cooperation and enhancement of function of group leader, establishment of reward system was found to be a good solution. The researcher also tried to improve the evaluation sheet, design of the course and teaching steps to have a better time control so that every student could be participated in the group discussion. Conclusively, the researcher established a proper and efficient way of teaching from the action research.
2.Cooperative learning was able to improve knowledge and attitude of students in animal protection. Students also change their attitudes toward learning and found it easier to learn the content of the course.
3.The researcher not only tried some new strategies of cooperative learning but also made progress in teaching skills owing to encouragement and advises from co-workers and the advisor to improve the quality of teaching during the action research.
There are some concrete suggestions about the future development of teaching and research provided to those teachers who might be willing to apply cooperative learning to animal protection based on the results of this study.