Gemma Leggat

Primary Teacher

Cambusnethan Primary School

  • Cooperative Learning

What happens when I introduce ‘think-pair-share’ to the learning environment?


Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) promotes the use of cooperative learning within the classroom. Social and communication skills such as taking turns, listening to others and questioning and exploring need to be in place before this can work in a classroom. “Brunner (1990) suggests that the most sustained and productive conversations come from children working together. This encourages discussion and the development of ideas which are not dependent on adult intervention.” (Bryce, 2013, p. 357) This enquiry focussed on the cooperative learning strategy Think-Pair-Share. This means the teacher asks a question of the class. Each student is given time to write down their answer. Once they have their answers written down they pair-up with another student in the class where they can discuss their answers. After they have had a chance to discuss their answers amongst themselves, they share their answers with a larger group or the rest of the class. Teachers can circulate through the class, as students are paired in discussion, to determine comprehension of the subject matter, and with each team presenting their answer any lack of subject matter understanding will be identified. Beyond the minute-to-minute formative assessment benefits that the Think-Pair-Share technique provides, it also helps put the students at the centre of their own learning.


As a group we hoped to see an improvement within the classes after using the strategy think-pair-share. We hoped the children would become more confident at speaking out in front of the class and sharing their ideas. I planned on using this strategy during Interdisciplinary Learning lessons when the class were working in mixed ability groups. My intention was that having them working in mixed ability groups would allow them all to share ideas and hold discussions with others in the class that they might not normally work with.

Download Practitioner Enquiry