Educational practitioners aim to deploy teaching and learning strategies that encourage student discussion and active learning to develop confidence and motivation. Cooperative learning is a form of active learning where students work together to perform specific tasks in a small group (Slavin, 2010). Cooperative learning presents pupils with more opportunities to actively participate in their learning, question and challenge each other, share and discuss their ideas, and internalise their learning (Johnson & Johnson, 1999). Furthermore, it helps students engage in thoughtful discourse and examine different perspectives, and it has been proven to increase students’ self-esteem, motivation, and empathy (Johnson & Johnson, 1999).
The think, pair, share (TPS) strategy is a cooperative learning technique in which students think through questions using three distinct steps, encouraging individual participation (Sampsel, 2013). This is beneficial for educators as when utilised a method of formative assessment, it allows pupils to take ownership of their learning and negotiate meanings rather than rely solely on the teacher’s authority (Cobb et al., 1991). TPS grants pupils the opportunity to think and share before giving responses, therefore, it is a strategy used to get more students involved in discussion to improve the quality of pupil responses (Rowe, 1972). Furthermore, when utilising TPS, positive changes in students’ self-esteem occur when they listen to one another and respect others’ ideas (Goodwin, 1999). Thus, students have the opportunity to learn higher-level thinking skills from their peers, gain the extra time or prompting they may need, and gain confidence when reporting ideas to the whole class.
Therefore, due to the many benefits of utilising TPS, as a group we decided to investigate what impact this strategy would have on our class. Furthermore, TPS was the chosen research topic as we discovered a common theme within our teaching, that numerous pupils were unwilling to participate in class discussion and share their own ideas. Through a professional discussion we acknowledged that students who are highly able are most likely to provide ideas and answers during class discussion. Thus, through implementing TPS we wanted to discover what impact it would have on the engagement levels and learning of all the pupils within the class.
The aim of this enquiry was to explore the impact Think, Pair, Share (TPS) had on pupil’s learning within the classroom.