This method can be integrated easily and spontaneously without much preparation time in the classroom. It can be used regardless of subject matter and is suitable for all work such as secondary review of a topic, the elaboration of a new text or the collection of prior knowledge. The teacher plays the role of the time moderator. Depending on group size and available time there are three or four steps:
- Think: Students reflect on a topic, a task, a problem on their own and take notes.
- Pair: Notes are compared, discussed and combined into one set of notes.
- Square: Depending on group size, it is possible to merge two groups of two to a group of four before the results presentation to the whole group takes place.
- Share: The working group present their results.
Whether the groups in step 2 or 3 prepare a media presentation (flipchart, posters, overhead, PPT or similar) is up to the teacher. It certainly depends on how this method will be embedded in the classroom.
Didactical Description of the Method
The multiple repetition of content intensifies the learning experience, creating a higher level of sustainability in the learning process. Learners can repeat the learning content due to this method several times and using different senses. Through the writing process the kinaesthetic learning type is addressed, through the visual impression the visual, and through listening the auditory learner is addressed. As a topic is first developed individually, then in pairs or in groups, also passive students are encouraged to participate, as they are – since the group results are presented – not vulnerable in their own personality. Due to the cooperative working process, participants will improve their interpersonal skills, the ability to conduct teamwork and to give and receive criticism. The work can be based on, for example, an article, an issue or a problem.
If a final media presentation is intended, the necessary materials will be provided (transparent poly pockets, pens, flipchart paper, pens, chalk, PPT etc.).