According to research carried out by Coleman (2007), engaging in practitioner-based enquiry is a powerful way to support learning at both individual and organisational level. The General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) further highlight this point by stating that engaging in a practitioner enquiry can enhance critical reflection of teacher practice, which can bring about transformative change and improve outcomes for learners (GTCS, 2019). Therefore, as a reflective practitioner, I felt it was pertinent to carefully reflect upon barriers to learning within my own classroom and consider interventions, which may bring about a positive change and tackle these barriers. One such potential barrier I observed was a reluctance from some students to engage or ‘answer out’ during whole-class learning. It occurred to me this could be due to a lack of confidence, fear of being wrong, limited understanding, or a combination of all. With this in mind, I decided to set my enquiry within the socio-constructivist conceptual framework, involving collaborative dialogue and a cooperative learning approach: Think-Pair-Share (Jaramillo, 1996). Think-Pair-Share, according to Education Scotland (2020), is a strategy that can increase participation in class, as pupils are more likely to share their ideas after discussing them with a partner. Furthermore, Vygotsky’s theory suggests that ‘pairing’ children with their ‘more able’ peers can help them progress in their ‘zone of proximal development’ (Vygotsky, 1978). Therefore, it was of interest to me to see if Think-Pair-Share would have a beneficial impact in my classroom, particularly with children who are reluctant to participate during whole-class discussions.
The aim of this enquiry was to investigate what would happen when using Think-Pair-Share during IDL lessons, specifically focussing on two areas:
- The impact of Think-Pair-Share on children’s confidence to speak out within the classroom.
- The impact of Think-Pair-Share on attitude towards learning.