Watch as teacher, Tim Jolliff, demonstrates how to create the right environment for successful group work in your classroom. Learn strategies you can easily apply to run group work well and maximize your students’ learning. 

The teacher’s role in group work.

Effective group work does not happen on its own! The teacher’s role is crucial:

  • in establishing the conditions for group work to be successful;
  • in planning the activities with clear learning goals;
  • in monitoring and intervening to keep it on track; and
  • afterwards in capitalising on the gains made in the group work so that both the learning about science and about effective working together are consolidated.

It can be tempting for us to step back and have a rest during group work, or even extend the activity because the class are getting on and there is no disruption. We should remember that our aim is to maximise learning, not an easy life for ourselves – the activities have been planned with a learning goal, and the plan needs adhering to. 

Take a few minutes to reflect upon your current practice, before watching the video in which a teacher discusses the following points in relation to group work:

  • the physical environment;
  • setting ground rules and establishing the climate;
  • producing quality discussions; and
  • monitoring group work.