Group work and the Education Endowment Foundation

Filling the pail

What’s the difference between the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) toolkit and a wind-chime? A wind-chime turns wind into noise whereas the EEF toolkit turns noise into wind.

Harsh? Maybe.

But there are genuine and seriousreasons to be concerned about the kind of meta-analysis that the EEF curates. Following my last post, someone pointed me to the EEF toolkit which includes a review of collaborative learning. On face value, it looks like adding collaborative learning to whatever you are doing already will mean that your students make an extra five months of progress. How extraordinary!

When you dive into the detail, there are a few caveats. You can’t simply implement any old group work in order to obtain the advantages. You need to, “get the detail right,” and use, “structured approaches with well-designed tasks.” So you can throw out any plans you had of implementing unstructured group work with…

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