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Www.cymru.gov.uk What is quality group work?. Why develop group work? Social constructivist theory, Vygotsky (1896- 1934). When children were set tasks.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.cymru.gov.uk What is quality group work?. Why develop group work? Social constructivist theory, Vygotsky (1896- 1934). When children were set tasks."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is quality group work?

2 Why develop group work? Social constructivist theory, Vygotsky ( ). When children were set tasks on their own, they rarely did as well as when they were working in collaboration. Concluded that the process of engagement with a peer or adult enabled them to refine their thinking and therefore their performance to make it more effective.

3 Other generalised research findings Nearly 80% of what children learn, they learn from each other. Quality collaborative work ensures all learners are involved (inclusive). Collaboration ensures better quality outcomes for all.

4 What is quality group work? All contributions are valued No learners are excluded Learners feel safe to be creative and take risks in learning Co-operation, collaboration and respect for fellow learners are paramount.

5 How do you develop quality group work? Task is meaningful with an appropriate cognitive demand. Task has parameters that are understood by learners. Size of group is suitable and manageable. Learners rules for behaviour are displayed. Learners decide on roles required for the task. Membership of each group is maintained for a short time and then randomised.

6 Task is meaningful with an appropriate cognitive demand Task set needs to: engage learners be relevant to recent or past learning challenge learners to progress.

7 Task has parameters that are understood by learners Examples Find out about an historical figure post Develop ideas of combustion and how it might be similar or different to respiration. Why are plants green? Do all birds fly? Why did George Orwell write Animal Farm? Describe what happens to a river from its source to the sea. Design and build a device to aid a person who is blind to catch a ball.

8 Size of group is suitable and manageable The size of the group is influenced by: the task the learners and their ability to work in larger groups the classroom itself.

9 Learners rules for behaviour are displayed Ask learners what their rules should be (as a group exercise) then combine to give class rules. Display on the wall.

10 Learners rules for behaviour are displayed

11 Learners decide on roles required for the task At first learners will need the teacher to discuss, question learners and model roles, such as: chairperson ideas person ideas developer questioner summarizer envoy. Younger learners might well just have a leader, a scribe, a gofer, a researcher etc.

12 Learners decide on roles required for the task (2) Eventually, learners will be able to decide on which roles are needed for a specific task - once they understand the task and what is required. Who does which role can be left to learners to decide as long as group membership is going to be changed at a later date.

13 Membership of each group is maintained for a short time and then randomised Development programme teachers found the following useful: Initially, randomly select pairs/groups. This shifts ownership away from teachers but stops learners selecting friendship groups. Maintain this composition for 2 weeks or so (primary) or 4/5 tasks (secondary). Learners need to develop their expertise in a role before switching to a new one.

14 What are the main issues with group work? Activity Brainstorm the main issues. Diamond rank to prioritise them. Select the most important issue. Prepare for a 1 minute feedback to the workshop to explain why it is the most important and how it might be dealt with.

15 From the development programme, the main issues with group work were… 1.Noise levels 2.Some learners were: –not engaged –unwilling to share ideas –not sufficiently challenged 3.Classroom layout is fixed.


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