Collaborative learning refers to an engineered situation in which two or more people learn together; although they depend on each other for the successful completion of a task, learners remain accountable for their own learning. When properly planned and conducted, small group work in class has both motivational and cognitive benefits for pupils. It fosters the development of key collaborative skills essential for success in school and in life. In Vygotsky's words: 'the one who does the talking does the learning'. Using cartoons, diagrams and visual prompts to support the text, this Pocketbook is suitable for all teachers. It explores 'the power of more than one', with a look at peer-led development and how working in groups helps students to become independent, resourceful learners with good listening and communication skills. A chapter on planning considers group size and composition, ground rules, success criteria and how to engage reluctant participants. It introduces the collaborative jigsaw's four key skills (intrapersonal, interpersonal, active listening, speaking) and ways to develop them.
Chapters entitled 'Collaborative Learning Starter Pack' and 'High Impact Strategies' contain multiple ideas for group work in lessons. Examples include graphic organisers, KWL grids, speed-talking, reversed objective, carousels, dragons' den and 'survival'. A final section deals with assessing and evaluating group work. It covers process and product; individual and team contributions; formative and summative approaches. Author Gael Luzet is an Advanced Skills Teacher and NQT / trainee teacher Mentor.