According to international school inspection systems, group work provides opportunities for students to interact with others, learning from different perspectives and can contribute to overall success at school.
Visiting a school that had reviewed themselves against The Adhyayan Quality Standard, it was a joy to see that 6 months on, the school had begun to transform the culture of their primary classrooms… How? They simply re-arranged their benches from the ‘traditional’ arrangement of facing the front of the classroom, to grouping benches so that students could sit facing each other, undertake activities in pairs or in groups and have the opportunity to develop their social skills of interacting and sharing with others which they may have otherwise missed out on.
What is the impact of students sitting together in groups and participating in group activities that are facilitated by learning resources? Teachers were pleased with the immediate impact of the seating re-arrangement: ‘we are now seeing the students talking with each other to help their peers, the stronger students are helping the weaker students, and the students have even become more considerate to the teachers. The level of discipline enforcement that is required from us teachers has reduced – the children are happy!’ Students’ voices, as opposed to the teacher’s, were heard more in classrooms. However, the classroom was managed well with students’ high level of engagement on the activity they were completing. With few steps taken and the use of existing resources, classrooms have the opportunity to transform the quality of teaching and learning within schoolsacross India.
What steps have you taken to introduce group work in your school and what has been the impact for you?