As teachers and drivers of change, we aim to provide the best possible education for each individual child in our class, regardless of their social background or abilities. In Scottish schools today, the attainment gap is a major issue and closing the attainment gap and raising attainment is a common goal amongst all educational practitioners. According to Ellis & Sosu (2015), poverty-related attainment gaps are an issue for every school and every local authority in Scotland. By discussing our individual classroom settings we, as a group, acknowledged that the children in Scottish Index of Mass Deprivation (SIMD) categories 1 and 2 were less motivated and engaged in the learning in the class. This then gave us our main focus for our enquiry. We agreed to focus specifically on the effect of assigning group roles in co-operative learning tasks.
According to Astin (1977), students who are actively involved in the learning process are much more likely to become interested in the learning and make more of an effort to attend school. This historical view is still very relevant to learning and teaching today and we used this idea as the starting point for our enquiry. The aim of our enquiry was to find out what happens when roles are introduced within group work in the classroom. We focused on increasing the participation and engagement of children in SIMD groups 1 and 2.