Expert Groups (Jigsaw)
Instructional Goal: Integrate and evaluate information
Elliot Aronson created this technique and it is described here https://www.jigsaw.org/
Jigsaw or expert groups is a grouping strategy where students work first with a small group developing an expertise by completing tasks. Then students regroup so that the new groups have an expert member from each of the first groupings.
For example, the teacher might direct students to:
- Gather in groups by color to complete an investigation, reading, experiment, or discussion.
- Then the students number off in each small group of different colors by fours.
- Regroup by numbers, for example, all the ones together, twos together, etc.
- The students now must complete a task that requires elements from each expert. Experts share and integrate their expertise to accomplish the new goal. The task must not be to “find out” from the other experts because students will copy the answers from peers. The task has to require the students to use expertise from each person to make something new that they don’t have already. For example, an answer to a question with evidence from each text that was read, or if in the first group they developed a character or a perspective then in the expert group the students have to create a story where each character has dialog.
Use Roles, Rules, Turns, and Time to eliminate these common problems:
- How can the teacher ensure that students just don’t copy instead of teach each other what they learned in their expert group?
- How can the teacher ensure that students who are struggling become experts and share their expertise? (Consider help resources including scaffolds that may be needed)
- How can this be done without taking too much time?