Collette Bogan

English

St. Ambrose High School

  • Cooperative Learning

What happens when the role of the reporter is introduced at the end of co-operative learning tasks?

Rationale

In my classroom, I try to vary my methodologies regularly, to ensure the needs of every learner is being met. This contributes to raising attainment. One of the methods I use and find to be successful in the classroom, is collaborative learning.

After attending a CPD day on this method, I decided to research the topic more thoroughly and found that it is often used in classrooms but not always effectively or successfully. Dylan Wiliams’ states;

 ‘Even though there is a substantial body of research that demonstrates the extraordinary power of cooperative and collaborative learning, it is rarely deployed effectively in classrooms.’ (Wiliam 133).

This made me think critically about my practice and allowed me to see that my, collaborative learning was sometimes just group work in disguise. After reading more of Wiliams’ work I found that for it to work properly there cannot only be group goals, there must too, be individual accountability.

When I went on to look at how each child could have individual accountability, while still contributing to the group work, I started to think more about each individual having a set role. This led me to the role of the reporter. I thought that if the role of reporter wasn’t introduced until the end, each individual would need to remain focused and on task, contributing to the group task, to ensure that they were aware of what was happening. This would mean that if they were chosen to report at the end and hadn’t contributed or paid attention, they would not be able to provide feedback to the rest of the class.

Aims

  • To ensure that when using collaborative learning, the group is working together and contributing, rather than working as individuals, or relying on one person to do all of the work.
  • To demonstrate that the group roles are more effective if the role of the reporter is left to last.
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