Friday, February 09, 2007

Jigsaw Cooperative Groups

JIGSAW GROUPS FOSTER UNDERSTANDING among students from a variety of racial, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. This learning method enables teachers to effectively respond to a diverse student population by promoting academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding. Jigsaw groups facilitate learning because each student is responsible for a particular piece of a task and then is responsible to contribute his/her portion of the task to bring about mutual interdependence.

The Set Up

To create five groups of four students, have each student sit in his/her regular seat and number off each student one through five. Next, call all students that were given the number one to sit at a table together, then the twos, threes, etc. The groups should be diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity, race, and ability.

Student and Group Roles

Divide the task into four segments. For example, in a project about the California Gold Rush, you may divide the lesson into the following topics: 1) Businesses that began as a result of the Gold Rush, 2) How they panned for gold, 3) Who were the gold seekers who moved to California, and 4) Where were the successful gold mines.

Assign each student in each group one of the four segments. Students who are assigned the same segment may meet to form an "expert group." The members of each expert group work together to learn the topic, making sure each member understands the information. During this time, the experts construct a plan to teach their topic to the members of their jigsaw cooperative group.

Final Outcome

Students then return to their jigsaw cooperative group. Each student teaches his or her topic to the members of the group. There is a sense of positive interdependence among the members of the groups. To demonstrate knowledge, each jigsaw group may present a summary of their understanding to the whole class.

Benefits of Heterogeneous Groups

Research shows that jigsaw cooperative groups, when students work together in heterogeneous groups, may improve race relations within a classroom (Eby, 1994). Working together within teams generates a more accepting and realistic view of other students than competitive and individualistic learning experiences.

Jigsaw cooperative groups provide an equitable learning environment. When students of different ethnic, racial, and linguistic backgrounds work together, they develop respect for one another. In jigsaw groups, students are interdependent. Social acceptance of others increase because students need to help each other and learn from each other. Also, research shows that cooperative learning improves the social acceptance of mainstreamed students with learning disabilities (Slavin, 1990).

Students' academic achievement is raised when all students work together towards a common goal. High achieving students learn tolerance and understanding of individual differences. Lower achieving students develop a greater understanding of subject matter. Students are highly motivated to work within a group. Also, teamwork helps students learn interpersonal skills, which is especially beneficial to second language learners.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?