Collaborative learning teams
Collaborative learning teams enable students to:
- communicate and compare ideas with one another
- build on one another’s ideas
- discuss and debate these ideas
- revise and rethink their reasoning
- present their final team understanding in a negotiated medium.
Guidelines in the construction of teams include:
- Assign students to teams rather than allowing them to choose partners.
- Give students the opportunity to work with others who might be of a different ability level, gender or cultural background.
- Keep teams to two students, where possible, and certainly no more than three. It is difficult for students at this age to work in teams of four or more.
- Keep the teams working together for two or more lessons so they have enough time to learn how to work together successfully.
- Keep a record of the teams so that students can work with someone else in subsequent team work.
Establish some team rules. For example:
- Stay with your team.
- Take turns.
- Listen to each other’s ideas.
- Speak softly.
(Adapted from Primary Connections, 2012 Australian Academy of Science, Canberra.)