Best Practice

Cooperative learning: Using CLIPs in the primary classroom

The cooperative learning approach allows pupils to practise their knowledge and skills and is guided by ‘CLIPs’. In this article, Drew Howard explains how to introduce this approach to your primary school

As a school leader, I have seen the power of cooperative learning and Cooperative Learning Interactive Patterns (CLIPs) to help improve pupils’ engagement, outcomes, and behaviour.

Cooperative learning

Cooperative learning is an approach to teaching. Knowledge and skills are modelled by the teacher and then learners are able to practise these skills in a series of structured activities (called CLIPS).

As Johnson & Johnson state (1994), in cooperative learning: “Students’ learning goals may be structured to promote cooperative, competitive, or individualistic efforts. In every classroom, instructional activities are aimed at accomplishing goals and are conducted under a goal structure.

“A learning goal is a desired future state of demonstrating competence or mastery in the subject area being studied. The goal structure specifies the ways in which students will interact with each other and the teacher during the instructional session.”

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