Date
21 July 2019

Cooperative learning strategies

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘ Facilitate collaborative learning’

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Utilise cooperative learning groups

Utilise cooperative learning groups

Successful cooperative learning groups:

  • can be teacher-selected to ensure balance, inclusion, and productivity
  • can be formed around target students with supportive peers
  • are no larger than four students
  • give students specific roles eg using Cooperative group role cards or Group roles stickers
  • can be changed periodically. It can take students some time to build relationships. Think about changing groups to extend the relationships your target students have.

Jigsaw learning

Jigsaw learning

The Jigsaw approach in action in a year 5–6 class. Expert learners are deliberately grouped with those that need support.

Reciprocal teaching of reading

Reciprocal teaching of reading

Reciprocal teaching of reading is effective in improving the achievement of learners from diverse backgrounds.

The structured small-group approach (where students have specific roles) provides a tool for supporting students to interact and collaborate successfully.

It involves four explicit strategies for reading comprehension:

  1. formulating questions to stimulate thoughtful discussion
  2. clarifying ideas and information in the text
  3. predicting what might follow, using prior knowledge and information in the text
  4. summarising information in the text.

Source: Literacy Online (opens in a new tab/window)

Peer tutoring

Peer tutoring

Peer tutoring is a form of cooperative learning where two students work together – a more skilled "tutor" with a less skilled "tutee".

Benefits for tutees

  • more individual teaching
  • gains in learning
  • gains in social/relationship skills
  • improved attitudes towards learning
  • improved self-esteem 

Benefits for tutors

  • practice/reinforcement of skills at earlier levels
  • learning gains
  • insight into the learning process
  • development of social/relationship skills
  • development of responsibility 
  • development of self-esteem

Benefits for teachers

  • more effective use of time
  • greater coverage of individual needs
  • opportunities to observe students at work, and to assess skills

Source: Teaching strategies for inclusive classrooms part 2: Peer tutoring (opens in a new tab/window)

Create a learning community

Create a learning community

Consider how you intentionally support students to build relationships and community with one another.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Cooperative learning formats

Publisher: Tom McIntyre

Visit website

Website

Reciprocal teaching

Publisher: WETA Public Broadcasting

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Website

Social sciences online: Cooperative learning

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “ Facilitate collaborative learning”:

Return to the guide “Supporting positive peer relationships”

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