When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. Accordingly our mentees should know about the Cooperative Learning Model of Teaching.
One example of a cooperative learning procedure for the Judaic classroom is Simple Jigsaw. A description of this cooperative procedure and a sample application for the Judaic classroom follows:
Simple Jigsaw (*Aronson et al, 1978): The teacher divides an assignment into four parts and each quad member is responsible for learning and teaching one-fourth of the assignment to his or her teammates. Students may be pre and post tested on their mastery of the material. More Complex Alternative:
1. Each quad mate is given some content to learn, a problem to solve or a skill to perform.
2. Each quad mate plans how to teach the material or skill to the other members of the quad/team. This includes developing a means of checking for understanding to determine whether the other quad members have really learned the information or skill presented.
3. Each quad mate teaches the material or skill to the other members of the quad. This includes checking for understanding.
Sample Application: Each person in the quad is assigned a city in Israel to study. After studying that city, she must report on its population, economy, location and major attractions to the other members of the quad.
* Aronson, E., N. Blaney, C. Stephan, J. Sikes and M. Snapp (1978). The Jigsaw Classroom.Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
On the next post we will describe and give a sample application of another cooperative learning procedure, Expert Jigsaw.