Deborah Duncan

Primary Teacher

Gartcosh Primary

  • Cooperative Learning

What Happens When Group Roles are Assigned Within the Class?


Co-operative learning is an organised and structured way to use small groups to encourage children to work together to complete a task. Each child within a group is given a role and is held accountable for the specific area, meaning that all pupils need to work together for the task to be successful (Olsen, 2018). As co-operative learning is becoming increasingly popular in classroom based practice and is said to promote higher self-esteem and better on- task behaviour (Kelly, 2018) it is an important, investigate way to develop social skills and team work, as these are important skills for children in terms of both learning and life. Group work without roles can be said to be unsuccessful, as each child does not have an individual purpose and will allow others to do the work for them, rarely contributing. This enquiry will focus on the effects of assigning group roles to tasks and the impact on learning and participation of children.


The aim of this enquiry is to gather evidence relating to what happens when group roles are assigned within the class. The following roles were chosen: recorder, time-keeper, resource manager and encourager. Each week the children’s roles changed to allow all children to try out the different roles. The importance of not introducing the reporter until the end of the task was recognised, to ensure all children were engaged and participating. The job roles were explained to children to ensure each child was aware of their responsibilities within the group.

Download Practitioner Enquiry