Nicola Gillon

Primary Teacher

Greengairs Primary

  • Cooperative Learning

Using ‘Think, Pair, Share’ in the Classroom

Rationale

Education Scotland (n.d) claims teaching methods that encourage communication between children arguably produce higher gains. They propose this is most effective when children engage in cooperative learning through well thought out tasks, rather than just merely working in a group. Lujan & DiCarlo (2006 cited in Sampsel 2013) further this by arguing cooperative learning gives children the opportunity to discuss with their peers their new learning, allowing them to comprehend better. William (2016) relates this increase in learning opportunities to individual accountability. Individual accountability means every child has a responsibility within the learning process, and therefore no-one can ‘not pull their weight’. Think Pair Share (TPS), a cooperative learning technique, arguably encompasses both individual accountability and cooperation when structured correctly. To structure TPS correctly, children are required to report their partners thinking, in order to engage with individual accountability. Upon reflection, I realised I had been using TPS as an opportunity for the children to discuss, but had not built in individual accountability, as children were not given the opportunity to inform others of what their partner had said. Therefore indicating, the children’s overall learning was not being benefitted as some children could choose not to be involved. This lack of involvement of learners has been noticed throughout placements and my teaching career, as I have noted when the teacher leaves the group, concentration and intended learning of the lesson is sometimes lost. Thus, thought has surrounded if implementing a strategy that requires individual accountability correctly, would have an impact on the children’s learning.

Aims

This enquiry aims to:

  • investigate if using TPS within the classroom has an effect on the children’s learning
  • observe and record the impact TPS has on the engagement within a lesson
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