“Scottish educational policy advocates the benefits of collaborative learning as a way of developing critical life skills” (McKechan and Ellis, 2012)
In order to fully endorse the and achieve the goals set out by Curriculum for Excellence, teachers need to employ collaborative learning techniques in order to produce successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. (Scottish Government, 2004). With this in mind, we set out to explore the use of certain collaborative learning techniques in order to help develop the critical thinking skills of our pupils at various stages of their school career.
“Collaborative environments promote and enhance the ability of learners to participate in knowledge building communities through synchronous and asynchronous collaborative communication and interaction” (Nik Azlina, 2010)
By fostering an atmosphere of collaboration in the classroom, pupils are able to participate in the sharing of knowledge and experiences in order to learn from both their own experiences and that of their peers.
The aims of this practitioner enquiry were to introduce collaborative strategies, specifically think-pair-share, to the classroom as a means of pupil self-evaluation. The wider aim of this was to promote a deeper reflection and self-evaluation on performance from the pupils by tapping into their critical thinking skills.