Improving group work in the classroom

Schools can successfully implement the SPRinG programme, a new approach to effective group work. Peter Blatchford and Ed Baines explain

Governments across the world want to raise educational standards. There is growing appreciation, however, that the current combination of curriculum and assessment pressures in many countries can result in an over-emphasis on traditional forms of teaching and excessively passive classes, and that more should be done to develop the “soft” life skills that enable learners to work as a team and make decisions together. The SPRinG (Social Pedagogic Research into Group work) research shows that group work can help to address these concerns.

What we know
● The SPRinG project was designed to address the gap between the potential of group work and its limited use in schools.
● The SPRinG approach can be successfully integrated into school life, recognising the concerns and difficulties that teachers can have with group work
● SPRinG activities for children aged 7-11 were targeted at science and led to significantly higher attainment and deeper conceptual understanding and inferential thinking.

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December 2015