Practitioner Enquiry

Jane Catherall
Maths tutor (Subject leader – Decision Maths)
"An investigation into group work –  does the way in which I allocate students to small groups for group work affect their learning, achievement and motivation."
·         Previously I have always allocated students to groups in a random or systematic way. I wanted to know whether a better thought out way of putting students in groups would help their learning.
·         In particular, there has been a lot of research into learning styles, so how would allocating students into groups based in their learning styles affect learning?
Key Actions:
·         Arrange my class of students into groups of 4 according to: Multiple Intelligence; Maths ability; general ability; personality; friendship; random
·         Carry out lessons where the students work in groups and assess which grouping seem to have the biggest positive impact on learning.
Key Findings:
·         Grouping students according to their learning style seemed to be more effective than grouping students in a random way.
·         Students enjoyed the lessons where they worked in groups
·         Students appreciated the fact that I had thought out groups in advance rather than just randomly allocating them
·         Planning a group work lesson where students work in their multiple intelligence groups takes more thinking about than any other lesson!
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