“In order for meaningful learning to occur, students must interpret, relate, and incorporate new information with students’ existing knowledge and experiences.” (Cortright et al., 2005).
A key role of an effective classroom teacher is to implement a range of strategies to support pupils learning and improve pupil achievement (GTC 2012). Such methods may include strategies which allow teachers to quickly assess pupils progress and understanding, such as think-pair-share. In addition to being supported by research, cooperative learning and the cooperative learning technique, think-pair-share, is also supported by Bandura’s educational theory. Furthermore, think-pair-share encourages pupils to develop individual ideas and build confidence by sharing their ideas firstly with a partner before speaking out in front of the whole class.
Think-pair-share is a cooperative learning strategy which can be used with any age group and lends itself well to all subjects and topics (Sampsel, A. 2013). As a result, teachers can reflect and use these results to inform their planning, with the view to better meet the needs of pupils. This strategy is also thought to promote confidence and engagement in pupils. It is with this reason the professional enquiry was conducted. The researcher looked at three specific areas which were:
- confidence whilst speaking out in class,
- engagement when learning new information in class,
- performance when completing tasks.
The aim of the enquiry was to explore the use of think-pair- share and find out the impact it would have on pupils confidence, engagement and performance in class when used during literacy lessons. The nature of the literacy lessons was always the same and the strategy was used when a new sound or phoneme was being introduced. Pictures would be used to introduce the new sound and pupils would be asked to think-pair-share with someone around them to try to solve the question of what the sound or phoneme was, before it was revealed.