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Facilitate shared learning

Students learn more effectively when they recognise that they are involved in a learning community. Everyone in a learning community has something to offer and something to learn, including teachers. Use conversations focused on learning and opportunities to work co-operatively and collaboratively to build shared language, understanding, and confidence.

Use co-operative group and think-pair-share activities to:

  • encourage information sharing by all students, for example, using small whiteboards to display answers
  • develop subject-specific language, for example, a list of banned words like 'stuff' and 'things'
  • create positive interdependence where students learn from each other, for example, by encouraging a peer-checking system
  • identify any concepts that are not understood and address them in a safe environment, for example, by encouraging students to ask clarifying questions.

Pairs or small groups could:

  • develop mind maps to plan possible responses to a task, such as preparing to write a treasurer’s report
  • act as a thinking group, for example, to identify key messages in resource materials such as a company’s annual report
  • pursue a group investigation, for example, into accounting challenges faced by community organisations, and then present their findings to the class.

Teachers could:

  • structure class or group discussions to debate accounting issues, thereby developing listening and analytical skills, for example, identifying and justifying possible initiatives a company could take to meet council requirements to be more sustainable
  • engage in learning conversations to develop student understanding on a topic
  • use vocabulary activities to scaffold students’ understanding and use of topic-specific words.

Teachers demonstrate that they are learners within the class by acknowledging that they have learnt, for example:

  • a different way of solving a problem from a student
  • about different cultural perspectives on a topic
  • how to find a solution to a problem that is raised in class.

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Last updated August 9, 2012