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What Is Kagan Cooperative Learning

The following pages have been specifically designed for Student Teachers and are intended as a brief guide to Kagan Cooperative Learning and how this approach to teaching differs to the traditional ‘whole-class’ approach. You will also find useful links to assist you in your ongoing studies and assignments. If you have a specific question please feel free to contact us directly at T2TUK/Kagan-UK —we really are here to help!

“Research on cooperative learning is overwhelmingly positive, and the cooperative approaches are appropriate for all curriculum areas. The more complex the outcomes (higher-order processing of information, problem solving, social skills and attitudes), the greater are the effects.”
Bruce Joyce

What is cooperative learning?

Cooperative Learning is an extremely successful teaching strategy in which small teams of students (usually teams of 4) work together towards a learning goal. They may also be working with partners or the whole class.Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it.

Why use Kagan cooperative learning?

Delivering your lesson content using a Kagan Cooperative structure is a way of easily increasing the amount of time your pupils spend ‘on task’. Along with this comes all the benefits of facilitating the learning of a class where pupils are all actively and simultaneously engaged in learning. Structures minimise the opportunity for pupils to become distracted, disruptive and then disaffected by giving them the skills to work with others and to learn independently of the ‘teacher’.

Structures teach pupils social skills; interaction with other pupils, turn taking, listening to the views of others and sharing information.

Kagan Cooperative Learning has been the most heavily studied cooperative learning innovation of all time. Kagan continues to show success in cooperative learning because of their set structures which rely on individual accountability (See PIES Principles) in the cooperative learning groups, which is something that is extremely important in order for cooperative learning to succeed.

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