The War Against Excellence : The Rising Tide of Mediocrity in America’s Middle Schools calls for a return to ability tracking and individual work. Advocates of cooperative learning — students work together on projects and share the grade — are firing back.
It’s hard to design effective group projects. It’s also difficult to get capable students to spend time helping slow students. Usually, the bright kids just do all the work. I know that was my daughter’s strategy.
SCSU Scholars has more on the question of fostering competitive individuals who can cooperate when necessary.