Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures

It’s all about Engagement!

Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up? Rally Robin? Quiz Quiz Trade? Inside Outside Circle? Are these terms familiar to you?

These are just three of the instant, active engagement structures that your child will have experienced in their learning over the last year. Since October 2014, all staff at Wellgate have completed three days of training to allow them to use these active engagement structures in their lessons to encourage and support cooperative learning. These are called ‘Kagan Structures’, named after Dr Spencer Kagan, who began research in 1968 around the change in actions in children when placed in different types of social situations. Over the past few decades, Dr Kagan and his team have developed and perfected over 200 Kagan Structures.

Why use Kagan at Wellgate?

This revolutionary approach to teaching has been adopted by Wellgate as we believe that children should be active within their learning and this cannot happen unless they are engaged. As part of the children’s social development, we want them to understand the achievements that can be made through working effectively with a diverse range of people from differing backgrounds.

 It is known that Kagan helps to improve the following:

  • Academic achievement
  • Improve ethnic relations
  • Enhance self-esteem
  • Create a more harmonious classroom climate
  • Reduce discipline problems
  • Develop students’ social skills and character virtues.

How does Kagan Work?

Structures are planned into lessons on a daily basis depending on the content of the lesson, the outcome intended and the purpose of the structure.

Kagan works on four Key Principles (PIES):

  • P – Positive Interdependence – Creates mutual support among pupils & increases the frequency and quality of peer tutoring.
  • I – Individual Accountability – Knowing about individual accountability increases student participation and motivation to achieve.
  • E- Equal Participation – Children who would normally avoid participation become engaged when participation is equalised.
  • S – Simultaneous Interaction – Participation per student increases when making it simultaneous rather than sequential structures.


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