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Module 1: Group Work, Motivation, Reward and Recognition

Introduction to  (Year 2) Module 1:

This module consists of 6 weeks of learning:

Week 1: Group Work

Week 2: Dialogic Teaching

Week 3: 

Week 4: 

Week 5: 

Week 6:

The Learn that... and Learn how to statements covered within this module are captured on the ECF Induction Programme mapping document. 

Week 1: Group Work

This week will focus on group/collaborative work.  We will explore the benefits and limitations of this and look at ways in which you can ensure group work is successful within your own classroom.  We will consider the challenges of conducting group work with autistic learners and the factors that contribute to inclusive group work.  You will plan and undertake a group activity and reflect upon this.

Teachers' Standards:

Evidence and Research:

What is group work?

The below excerpt is taken from a TES article exploring group work.  It highlights how such a simple idea can cause concern and worry on behalf of the teacher.  

Screenshot 2024-07-09 at 15.46.10.png

(TES, n.d)

Benefits of Group Work

Group work can be applied and used in a wide range of learning scenarios and there are many benefits to doing so:

  • Group work offers the opportunity for students to become active participants in their own learning (UNSW, n.d)

  • Supports pupils' skill development especially in relation to employability skills (UNSW, n.d; Washing University St Louis, n.d)

  • Allows students to be exposed to others' ideas and perspectives and builds effective relationships and teamwork (Impact Teachers, 2017)

  • Students can process and articulate their ideas through group work and this can support them to develop confidence (Impact Teachers, 2017)

  •   Allows students to access curriculum content at a deeper level (UNSW, n.d)

  • Group work can lead to increased attainment (Washington University St Louis, n.d)

  • A useful way of assessing students (Impact Teachers, 2017)

Limitations of Group Work

  • Some students find group work challenging and prefer to work on their own.  This can be the case for neurodivergent learners.

  • Not all pupils contribute equally to the group work and this can annoy the other members.

  • Division of labour may restrict rather than enhance pupil learning with some not being able to meet the learning objectives.


Watch the video below that considers how you might approach group work.

Collaborative Learning

The EEF Teacher Toolkit (2021) explored the benefits of collaborative learning (group work) and came up with the following findings:

Screenshot 2024-07-09 at 16.14.25.png

(EEF, 2021)

Group Work and Autistic Learners

Autistic pupils can find group work more challenging for a variety of reasons.  This article below, is written for University staff at The University of Leeds, but captures such difficulties well and suggests some strategies for effective group work with autistic learners.  Read the article and as you do, apply this to your own setting.

Screenshot 2024-07-09 at 16.20.12.png


Group work is adaptable and brings many benefits for pupil learning.  The diagram below highlights the factors to consider to ensure group work is inclusive:

Screenshot 2024-07-09 at 16.29.24.png

(Sobel & Alston, 2020)

It is key that group work is well planned and managed and whilst pupils are undertaking group work it is imperative to monitor attainment, progress, behaviour and motivation.  Remember that groups do not have to be set, they can be flexible and adaptable.  If something is not working change it.

Application and Exploration of Practice and Setting:

Using your learning from this week, plan a group activity within one of your lessons.  

Ensure your plan is inclusive and has considered the challenges that some autistic learners face when engaging in group work.

Undertake this planned group activity.

Reflection and Discussion

Using a chosen reflective model, reflect upon how the group activity went.


  • Progress

  • Attainment and achievement of learning objectives

  • Pupil behaviour

  • Pupil motivation

Take your reflection to discuss at your weekly mentor meeting.


Common Sense Education (2017) Tips for Great Group Work in the Classroom. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzr5x2cLljg

EEF (2021) Collaborative LEarning Approaches. Available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/education-evidence/teaching-learning-toolkit/collaborative-learning-approaches 

Impact Teachers (2017) 8 Benefits of Group Work in the Classroom. Available at: https://impactteachers.com/blog/8-benefits-implementing-group-work/

Sobel, D. and Alston, S. (2020) Inclusion: Making Group Work Effective for All Students.  SecEd 10 June 2020. Available at: https://www.sec-ed.co.uk/content/best-practice/inclusion-making-group-work-effective-for-all-students/#:~:text=To%20operate%20well%20in%20a,and%20using%20their%20social%20skills.

TES (no date) What is Group Work?  Available at:https://www.tes.com/magazine/tes-explains/what-group-work 

University of Leeds (no date) Supporting Autistic Learners Undertaking Group Work.  University of Leeds.

UNSW (no date) Group Work Available at: https://www.teaching.unsw.edu.au/group-work

Washington University St Louise (no date) Benefits of Group Work. Available at: https://ctl.wustl.edu/resources/benefits-of-group-work/​​

Week 2: Dialogic Teaching

This week will focus on dialogic teaching, otherwise known as classroom talk.  We will explore what this is and the benefits of using dialogic teaching in the classroom.  We will look at approaches you can take and the key principles that must be present in dialogic teaching.  You will also discuss this topic with a colleague and observe them teach to explore how they use dialogic teaching within their practice.

Teachers' Standards:

Evidence and Research:

What is dialogic teaching?

Dialogic teaching is a teaching and learning strategy that sees an ongoing dialogue (or talk) between the teacher and their students rather than a didactic teacher delivery model and aims to "improve pupil engagement and attainment by improving the quality of classroom talk" (EEF, 2017).

It is through such dialogue that teachers can "elicit students' everyday, 'common sense' perspectives, engage with their developing ideas and help them overcome misunderstandings" (University of Cambridge, n.d).

Having the opportunity to engage in classroom talk in a variety of contexts allows pupils to explore their own understanding as well as test their knowledge and develop and practice language as a way of constructing new knowledge.

Through engaging pupils in dialogue (talk) a teacher can:

  • Explain ideas and concepts

  • Clarify the purpose of the learning activity

  • Model use of language and approaches to learning

  • support pupils to develop new learning and explore different perspectives and ideas.

(Adapted from Cambridge University, n.d)

​Take a moment to watch this short video that explores dialogic teaching:

Now take the ideas expressed in the video and extend these by reading this Chartered College of Teaching blog which pulls together the main principles of dialogic teaching:

Screenshot 2024-07-10 at 09.31.32.png

Application and Exploration of Practice and Setting:

Talk to a member of staff within your setting about how they use the principles of dialogic teaching in their classroom, exploring the benefits as well as the barriers, particularly focusing on using dialogic teaching with autistic learners.

Follow up this conversation by observing this colleague teach.

Focus on on how they include, apply and embed the principles of dialogic teaching. You may find the pro forma below useful to capture the learning from the observation.

The observation only needs to be 20 minutes to half an hour.

Screenshot 2024-07-10 at 09.59.05.png

Reflection and Discussion

Now bring together your learning from this week and the observation you have undertaken.

Reflect on what you have learnt and seen and consider how you take key elements of this into your teaching.

What will you need to work on and develop further?

Where do you think dialogic teaching would work well within the curriculum?


Cambridge University (no date) What is Dialogic Teaching? Available at:https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/research/programmes/dialogic/whatis.html#:~:text=Dialogic%20teaching%20involves%20ongoing%20talk,and%20help%20them%20overcome%20misunderstandings. 

EEF (2017) Dialogic Teaching. Available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/projects-and-evaluation/projects/dialogic-teaching

Egan-Simon, D. (2018) It's Good to Talk: Moving towards dialogic teaching. The Chartered College of Teaching 22 February 2018. Available at: https://my.chartered.college/impact_article/its-good-to-talk-moving-towards-dialogic-teaching/

Kemp, B. (2020) Dialogic Teaching Introduction.  Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjTVCTgrZLs

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