Nell Duke, now a distinguished professor at the University of Michigan, likes to tell a story about using cooperative learning as a young teacher. She had read a lot about cooperative learning and was excited to try it in her elementary class. However, not long after she started, her principal came to her class and asked her to step into the hall. "Miss Duke," he said, "what in blazes are you doing in there?"
Nell told her principal all about cooperative learning, and how strongly the research supported it, and how her students were so excited to work in groups and help each other learn.
"Cooperative learning?" said her principal. "Well, I suppose that's all right. But from now on could you do it quietly?"