06

Changing structure

Discuss what kind of structure helps you work.

The following examples will help your discussion.

Home groups

Home groups is a teaching method that supports pedagogical approaches such as project based learning, developing social and cooperation skills, and building a good atmosphere.

Students will have the same randomized home group for 1–2 months. About four students per group is usually a good number. When new groups are formed, it is important to have group exercises that build trust and familiarity so that the group will learn how to work together and trust each other.

Mutual trust will grow as the group collaborates. Students will learn to do self-evaluation, peer evaluation and group evaluation. Students will have to assess their own and their group’s strengths and weaknesses, and ways in which these can be used to benefit learning.

Changes in the learning environment

A bigger group requires new kinds of learning environments. Instead of traditional classroom work, you could start in your traditional classroom and after a short introduction, spread out around the school.

When other spaces in your school are used as a learning environment, the rules need to be very clear and students need to understand how to focus on learning. This means only students who can be trusted to work independently can be allowed to work without supervision.

Pedagogical choices

Carefully considered pedagogical choices make flexible learning possible with co-teaching. For example, in mathematics individually paced learning is a great way to differentiate instruction and focus on understanding mathematics.

The students that require more help will get the support they need from the teachers, while the more skilled have the opportunity to challenge themselves. This flexible model will take care of a lot of the stress and frustration that is often associated with mathematics.