Through discussions within our group, it became apparent quite quickly that pupil participation was something that we would all like to focus on due to a reluctance in pupils answering out in class. With two Physical Education Secondary teachers and two Primary 7 teachers, we speculated that this might be due to the ages of the pupils. An age which can often bring increased self-consciousness, lack of confidence and fear of being wrong, which can contribute to pupils’ apprehension in answering out in front of their peers. We discussed different co-operative learning strategies the aims of which are to include all pupils and increase participation, including Think-Pair-Share (Lyman, 1981). The aim of this strategy is to allow children to have more thinking time to process the question/teaching, discuss their thinking with a partner, then share their answer/thinking with the whole class. This is in line with the four capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence where children develop the capacity to be confident individuals and effective contributors. Also, within Building the Curriculum 5 (2010), there is a clear focus on pupils having the time to reflect and discuss as a key assessment tool. The use of AifL strategies are also an important aspect of the enquiry, particularly Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956), as questioning strategies will be used to pose questions that stimulate higher order thinking skills. This is particularly important for scaffolding learning, in order to be able to move from knowledge and understanding to analysing and evaluating.
The aim of this enquiry is to investigate if introducing the Think-Pair-Share strategy has an impact on the participation of the pupils in the classroom.