Shaun Donnelly

Primary Teacher

Muirhouse Primary School

  • Cooperative Learning

What effect does peer-assessment checkpoints have on pupils’ learning?

Rationale

The work of Vygotsky is rooted in the belief that children can learn from their peers, both at the same age and of a higher developmental level. This learning is facilitated through scaffolding in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) – what a child can do by themselves and what they can do with the help of others (Moll, 1992; Vygotsky, 1978). Cooperation, Vygotsky argues, should be at the core of learning. In the classroom, peer assessment allows this cooperative learning to take place. Gueldenzoph and May (2002) argue that children in later life must be able to ‘evaluate’ themselves and others, and that practitioners must develop this skill in the classroom. However, Muijs and Reynolds (2011) explain that peer assessment must be structured so that children fully understand what is being assessed and why, as well as how to give and receive constructive feedback.

Aims

The aim of this enquiry was to introduce peer assessment checkpoints periodically within numeracy lessons and discuss the impact this had on the pupils’ comprehension of learning intentions.

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