Neil McLennan


Greenfaulds High

  • Cooperative Learning

The Use of Think-Pair-Share Within the Classroom


The Scottish Government (2009) created the curriculum of excellence with a view in mind to create dynamic and creative thinking classrooms. As such the thinking routine, Think, Pair, Share, is from the recently introduced Make Thinking Visible (Ritchart & Church, 2011) CPD course for North Lanarkshire Council teachers and as such seemed a very relevant routine to undertake. These established thinking routines combine to allow teachers to engage pupils with thinking methodology that will expand their way of thinking and allow for critical analysis and discussions of topics being discussed in the classroom.

As the group members varied in profession from Primary 2 to National 5 level, we felt it was only suitable to focus on a thinking routine that could be used for all ages within education. After a short discussion, all members agreed that the Think, Pair, Share (TPS) exercise was one of the most suitable for this enquiry.

Additionally, TPS is an activity that all ages can take part in and therefore, all members of the group could collect evidence. In selecting this particular thinking routine, each member of the group were confident the evidence stage of this enquiry would be successful and would provide meaningful data that would then be suitable for review.


The aim of the enquiry was to evaluate the impact that the use of the thinking routine Think, Pair, Share had on the pupils. Over the five week course of the class using the thinking routine, evidence would be recorded and collected. This evidence would then turn out to be the basis for an accurate and critical evaluation of what, if any, impact the thinking routine had on the pupils.

The evidence collected would then be the justification of what affect the thinking routine had on the pupils’ confidence within the classroom and the impact the routine has had on their learning.

To ensure a fair and well balanced collection of data recorded, ten pupils at random were picked from a third year secondary class using an online randomiser. The same pupils would provide all the feedback during the enquiry and provide the basis for the analysis of data. During the collecting stage however, the full class would provide and take part in these feedback sessions as to prevent any pupil being singled out within the class.

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