Gemma Lindsay

Primary Teacher

Tannochside Primary

  • Cooperative Learning

What happens when we introduce ‘Think, Pair, Share’ in the classroom?


Assessment is for Learning (AiFL) has been a significant focus for improving practice across Scottish learning environment, as per the aims of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE): to raise standards, and close the attainment gap. A statement from the HM Chief Inspector of Education (Education Scotland, 2016) highlighted the fact that despite planning and assessment being highlighted to practitioners as an area for improvement, the progress being made in these areas has been all too slow. With such an acknowledgement being made, it is now essential for practitioners to be demonstrating willingness to implement new and effective pedagogies to the classroom, particularly with a focus on practices which can improve assessment – both formative and summative. As such, it is the intention of this professional enquiry to explore the AiFL formative assessment technique ‘Think, Pair, Share’ (TPS). Think, Pair, Share is a cooperative learning technique that was first proposed by Lyman (1981), it involves a three step process: firstly, the children are given time to independently formulate answers to a given question; next, the children discuss their answers with a partner, noting any similarities or differences; and finally, the children share their answers with the group. Education Scotland endorse reflection and discussion as key assessment and progression tools (Building the Curriculum 5, 2010) and therefore such tools are relevant in any enquiry into AiFL. Raba (2017) believes that by incorporating TPS children will be more likely to share their answers, as they feel more self-confident following the ‘Pair’ step of the process. This enquiry aims to analyse the true effect of TPS on children’s participation levels and achievements.


The aim of this enquiry is to evaluate the success of ‘Think, Pair, Share’ as a formative assessment tool, and the impact of this on learners’ participation and achievement in tasks.

Download Practitioner Enquiry