Following their research into cooperative learning, Johnson and Johnson (1994) have suggested that teachers establish base groups in their classes to provide academic and social support to students. Base groups are small groups of students that meet regularly to discuss matters associated with the students' social and academic goals and progress. One of the features of base groups is that the teacher does not participate in their discussions unless specifically invited to do so. While there is some evidence that base groups are effective in providing academic and social support to school students, there is little information about their effectiveness at the tertiary level. This paper describes how base groups were used in tutorials for student teachers as a way of giving them academic and social support. The effectiveness of the base groups was determined b~~ obtaining feedback from students and by studying journals kept by the tutors who implemented the innovation. This process indicated that base groups were an effective way of providing academic and social support to teacher education students and had a positive effect on their learning. In addition, students were able to meet some of their social needs while they worked with the subject matter of the class.
Sullivan, A. M.
Establishing academic and social support groups for teacher education students.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 24(2).