Over the course of the academic year 2019-2020, Caldecote Church of England Academy is taking part in a pilot project with Central Bedfordshire Council to implement Kagan Cooperative Learning in the classroom.
Kagan's publications and workshops are based on a research program conducted by Dr. Spencer Kagan beginning in 1968. Dr. Kagan and his associates discovered that children of all ages in many parts of the world acted quite differently when placed in certain types of situations. He could manipulate the interaction patterns of children and make them more cooperative or more competitive. Dr. Kagan applied his findings to education and was a pioneer in the cooperative learning movement. He has dedicated his life's work helping educators create more cooperative, interactive classrooms that produce smarter, more caring and cooperative students.
Kagan Structures engage every student. In the traditional classroom, the teacher is the hardest working person. At Kagan, we think that's backwards. Students need to work at least as hard! The more they interact with their peers and with the curriculum, the more they'll learn. Kagan Structures require every student to participate frequently and approximately equally. Kagan Structures close the achievement gap by creating dramatic gains for struggling students. But the gains are not bought at the expense of high achievers; they too are engaged in a richer, more interactive learning environment. As brain-research is proving, meaningful engagement is just a better way to reach and teach all students.
Following an initial training session, the Kagan Learning Structures were trialled in our Key Stage 2 classroom. Rather than the traditional teaching model of children responding to questions on a 'hands up' basis, they now work in pairs and table groups to collaborate effectively to answer questions, enhance detail, support arguments and opinions and ultimately increase engagement. The impact has been huge. The children are now more responsible for their own learning, they support each other, they interact respectfully and are now more effective learners.
On 31st January 2020, the remaining staff received training in the Kagan Learning Structures with the aim of them being embedded by the beginning of the Summer Term.
For further information about Kagan, click the link here.