Co-operative learning is a pedagogical approach widely used by practitioners across all stages of the curriculum and is recognised to be a valuable tool in the educational development of our young people. Various studies have concluded that working with others to achieve a shared goal not only has educational benefits for learners, but also helps the development of important psychological and social skills (McAlister, 2010). However, it is clear that co-operative learning is failing to be used to its full potential in classrooms across Scotland. Dylan Wiliam states that: “Even though there is a substantial body of research that demonstrates the extraordinary power of cooperative and collaborative learning, it is rarely deployed effectively in classrooms” (Wiliam, 2011). Research has shown that for co-operative learning to be most productive, the allocation of pupil learning roles should be utilised. With this in mind, this enquiry set out to determine the outcome on pupil learning when co-operative learning roles were designated.
The aim of this enquiry was to determine if pupil learning in a mixed-ability group was enhanced with the introduction of assigned co-operative learning roles during group tasks.