One possibility of successfully dealing with the increasing heterogeneity of students is cooperative learning. However, this learning structure is still rarely used in physical education. To substantiate positive effects of cooperative learning in physical education and to support the commitment of pedagogical staff, the aim of this research was to evaluate physical, social, behavioral and psychological effects of interventions implementing cooperative learning structures in physical education lessons. The current systematic review was designed based on the PRISMA guidelines. Five databases were used to select articles that evaluated effects of cooperative learning in physical education of children and adolescents with an average age within the range of five to 19 years in August 2022. Studies had to report quantitative measured outcomes of cooperative learning. Two authors independently screened studies for eligibility and assessed risk of bias. Descriptive analyses were conducted to evaluate intervention effects. In total, 23 articles reporting 36 outcomes were included in the analysis with an overall sample size of 3699 children and adolescents aged between 6.5 and 17.5 years. Summarized 71% of all reported outcomes resulted in significant positive effects on cooperative learning compared to traditional teaching styles with most positive effects on social outcomes (92%). It is recommended to integrate different teaching styles, e.g. cooperative learning, to improve children’s development and to engage them in lifelong physical activity. Furthermore, interdisciplinary cooperation (e.g. between researchers and pedagogical school staff) should be sought in order to develop pedagogical approaches that consider the needs and prerequisites of students.


Teaching Styles Healthy Development Educational Technology Collaboration


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