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Improving the Effectiveness of Pupil Groups in Classrooms

Grant reference: L139251046

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Book chapter details

TLRP: Pupil grouping for learning: developing a social pedagogy of the classroom
Studies of grouping practices in everyday classrooms in England show that the potential of group work as a pedagogic approach, that can enhance learning and active engagement among pupils, is not being realised. Three main principles for the effective use of group work in schools are highlighted. These are that teacher practices should focus on enhancing pupils’ relational skills, carefully structuring the classroom and group context and on providing structure and support to group interactions. These principles and their associated practices form the core of a recent UK group work program for teachers. Results from a year long evaluation of this program show that pupils made greater progress in general and specific measures of attainment and were more likely to show behaviours indicative of effective group interactions than pupils in a comparison group. Findings emphasise the need for educators to implement a social pedagogic approach, rather than individualised approaches, to teaching and learning in classrooms. Studies of grouping practices in everyday classrooms in England show that the potential of group work as a pedagogic approach, that can enhance learning and active engagement among pupils, is not being realised. Three main principles for the effective use of group work in schools are highlighted. These are that teacher practices should focus on enhancing pupils’ relational skills, carefully structuring the classroom and group context and on providing structure and support to group interactions. These principles and their associated practices form the core of a recent UK group work program for teachers. Results from a year long evaluation of this program show that pupils made greater progress in general and specific measures of attainment and were more likely to show behaviours indicative of effective group interactions than pupils in a comparison group. Findings emphasise the need for educators to implement a social pedagogic approach, rather than individualised approaches, to teaching and learning in classrooms.
Original Document

Primary contributor

Author E Baines

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