Alison Meechan

Primary Teacher

Balmalloch Primary

  • Cooperative Learning

What happens when social intentions are introduced as part of the learning criteria?


Co-operative learning offers the opportunity for pupils to work together to achieve a clearly stated goal. In order to be successful, all pupils must display a variety of social skills which enable them to positively contribute to group learning. As teachers, it is important that we teach such social skills in order that pupils understand:

  • What the skill is;
  • Why they are learning the particular skill;
  • Ways in which the skill will be practised;
  • How well they have used the skill and how they can improve.

(Bennett, Rolheiser & Stevahn, 1991)

According to Johnson & Johnson (2018), ‘Teachers have to teach teamwork skills just as purposefully and precisely as teachers do academic skills’. With this in mind, an enquiry was designed to explore the impact of setting social intentions at the beginning of co- operative learning lessons.


To evaluate the impact of setting a social intention on pupils’ ability to:

  • Display intended social behaviours e.g. good listening.
  • Work co-operatively with their peers.
Download Practitioner Enquiry