Discover the GROWE training curriculum and listen to our teachers’ experiences with the GROWE model in their classrooms.
The GROWE training curriculum can be implemented at different levels of complexity. It allows for a flexible approach in terms of time allocation and management, learning activities and learning materials. The content of the training allows for adaptability to different national contexts in terms of the curriculum itself, subject foci within the curriculum, local or national resources and the precise nature of the authentic texts available. Take a look at the GROWE Resources section to see how our teachers have implemented it. Contact your national provider for more information.
LISTEN TO WHAT TEACHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES
Silvia, literature teacher from Italy
Teodora, literature teacher from Italy
Irena, technology teacher from Lithuania
Irma, Lithuanian teacher from Lithuania
Smaranda, sociology teacher from Romania
Jenny Carruthers, high school head of biology from the United Kingdom
Becky Harbour, music teacher from the United Kingdom
HAVE A LOOK AT OUR RESULTS
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT OTHERS FROM WORKING IN GROUPS?
Student 1: that everyone is different. When we work in groups and there are many proposals, you can’t choose the best one, it’s likely that we will stick together several ideas, maybe even reject some of them, and you have to accept that. Sometimes not everybody is able to accept that, and some people don’t like to give in. I also understand that some people are artistic, so you have to see that and help them to realise it, and some people are very keen to lead. Some are shy and I think we need to help these people to express themselves, to share their ideas.
Student 2: I have learnt that everyone has a different opinion about different things and that you need to listen to others.
Student 3: I learnt that everyone is different inside and out. I learnt about other people’s character – what they like, how they like to work.
Student 4: I learnt that everyone has many interesting qualities, although they don’t always show them. And when I work in groups, they tend to come out and they tend to be unexpected, those qualities.
Student 5: I learned that not all people want to rule the world. Some people are shy, some people have different opinions, some people want to rule too.
Student 6: not everybody likes to be in charge, not everybody is brave, some work in groups, some don’t work at all.
Student 7: I have learned that none of the people I have worked with in the groups like to be in charge and that most of them are shy.
Student 13: You find out if they like working with you, you find out their attitude towards the work itself.
Student 8: I find out what they do best, I see their attitude towards the work. if there is some kind of potential and others don’t think it matters, then I see that they don’t want to do it and they don’t pursue it. I find out who wants to work with me and who doesn’t.
Student 9: I find out who is the best in what field, whether they are committed to the work, whether they want to do work in certain groups.
Student 10: I find out the strengths and weaknesses of my friends, see what they like to do, who they like to talk to, whether they want to do the job at all. What jobs they like.
Student 11: I find out about others’ strengths and weaknesses, what they like, who they want to work with and what they want to achieve.
WHICH TASKS DO YOU LIKE BEST AND WHY?
Student 1: I like group work best. Then in nature and people I like the practical work, in geography I like when we go outside and try to put our knowledge into practice, in technology I like when we make things. In art, I like it best when we do something with a very, very free subject, without any restrictions.
Student 2: I like tasks that are motivating, that are interesting, project work.
Student 3: I like tasks in groups or in pairs. If the task is difficult, you and your group can do it faster and it will be easier for you to complete it. It’s more fun in a group.
Student 4: I like it when, for example, at home you are told to watch a film or a clip and you are offered a mini-stamp or a mark for answering a question from the film. Then there’s the fun group work, and it’s also fun to make things during technology lessons. If it’s warm outside during a lesson, I like to go outside and work outside. The fresh air clears my mind, it’s really good.
Student 5: I like simple tasks, like watching a film and describing it. Or group work because it brings people together. And I really like watching films or drawing something. I don’t like it when you have to write from or in a textbook, etc.
Student 6: I like jobs that are motivating, that you get something for, and also that are easy and simple.
Student 7: I also like work that gives you something for which you get something, that is quicker, easier, not repetitive, not the same thing over the same thing.
WHAT LEARNING MATERIALS DO YOU USE IN YOUR LESSONS BESIDES THE TEXTBOOK? WHAT TEXTS DO YOU READ AND ANALYSE, HOW DO THEY HELP YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE LEARNING?
Student 8: Besides the textbook, what materials we use, in biology the teacher puts up the slides, and sometimes the geography teacher puts up a video, and then it’s really fun to watch and I understand more about the subject. What kind of texts are analysed – for example, in Lithuanian we analysed all kinds of myths and fairy tales.
Student 9: I like it best when we do exercises or when they show us a video or a live demonstration of an experiment in, say, physics lessons. We read all sorts of texts in certain lessons and they all help us understand what we are learning.
Student 10: It helps me to get more comfortable when the teacher of physics, biology, English puts slides on or shows a video or a map the teacher of geography shows. It also helps if the teachers bring live objects. We usually analyse the texts together during language lessons and then everything becomes clear.
Student 11: I like it best in biology when the teacher shows the slides, then in geography Google maps, and in physics the teacher gives me the sheets to go with the slides. I really like doing the exercises. The slides just make it easier to understand the exercises, and when the teacher doesn’t let you do the slides, the exercises or the textbook, I don’t like it very much.
Student 12: The slides help you to learn because then you understand the material more and then games like Kahoot or Quizz also help, because when you play from the topic, you understand better when they correct your questions and you find out the correct answers. For example, the physics teacher plays a game for us and then we understand better.
Student 14: Most of the time, besides the textbook, we watch videos, either a documentary in history or a video in physics to explain a topic. We analyse texts mainly in textbooks and in the books, we are asked to read. I just use them as teaching material for background information.
Student 18: we often watch Filos, we are watching Lord of the Rings in English now, and then we can read the text – it helps us understand the language.
Student 15: we usually watch all kinds of videos and documentaries in class, it helps us to understand the topic better, to analyse it better, to solve certain problems related to the topic. I think it makes the lessons easier.
Student 16: for example, in geography, sometimes they use an atlas, it’s much easier to work with a map. In history, we look at different sources, which also helps us to understand the topic much better. In Russian I sometimes use a dictionary, then I can understand words I don’t understand.
HOW DO YOU GET ON WITH LEARNING IN GROUPS DURING LESSONS? WHAT'S EASY AND WHAT'S HARD? WHY?
Student 13: I find it easy most of the time because I like cooperation in general, it’s easier to ask my friends when you don’t understand something, sometimes it’s hard when everyone has different opinions and you can’t all agree with one answer.
Student 8: it’s better to work in a team than on your own, because there are more people, more ideas, more answers to certain questions. It’s probably easier to talk in a team with others, to express your opinion. And the hardest thing is to accept that opinion, because everybody has different opinions.
Student 9: Collaboration is better because there are more opinions and there can be more good opinions. It’s easier to collaborate with people you know well, with whom you interact a lot. But it’s hard to keep the focus with people who get along well, because sometimes the topic goes off topic somehow. It’s also difficult when you get people who rarely communicate and then it’s strange to work together, it’s shy, you don’t feel like working and there are usually very different opinions.
Student 10: I also like to collaborate and work in a group because when there are more people, there are more ideas and it will be more efficient to work and get the job done quicker if everybody is aligned on who is doing what. That’s the easy part. What’s difficult is sometimes the group members don’t want to work and take advantage of others who are working.
Student 11: Groups depend on the number of people. If there are a lot of people in the group, it’s bad because there are a lot of opinions and if there are a lot of people and a very small work, nobody knows what to do, and if there is a big work, and few people, so everyone knows they are important and everyone knows their role. And it also depends on what those people are like, people’s relationships with others.
Student 12: I really like collaboration because you can work together with your friends, you can agree with their opinions, you can refute their opinions, you have to accept that basic answer. It’s good when you have a lot of people because there are a lot of opinions, but it’s also harder because you have to pick one opinion. It is difficult when you have strangers with whom you have to cooperate, because you don’t know how you have to deal with them, how much they will be able to do, how much they won’t be able to do, whether they are responsible. And it’s easy when you know people very well and you know they are responsible.
HOW DO YOU GET ON WITH LEARNING IN GROUPS DURING LESSONS?
Student 14: I’m doing well in groups. Since we know each other, it’s even fun to work together. Because we are different, we can look at the same work from different perspectives and get a broader view. And it’s hard, because we are different, it’s hard to get along sometimes
Student 15: I’m good at working in groups because we divide up the work, who’s going to do what, and that keeps your workload low. But it’s hard to agree on who is going to do what and sometimes classmates are lazy and don’t listen. At least for me it is easy to work in groups.
Student 16: I find it easy to work in groups, it’s much quicker to get the work done because you can divide the work. And the hardest part is after the work, because one can say that he did the most and the others can say that they did less and there can be arguments. But otherwise, working in groups is good for me.
Student 17: working in groups is very easy because you can distribute the work, if you don’t understand something there is always a friend who can explain it to you, but the hard thing is that we don’t work in groups very much and we don’t know how to distribute the workload well and in the end you end up with somebody doing less and somebody doing more and all sorts of arguments.
WHEN IS GROUP WORK USEFUL AND SUCCESSFUL? WHY? TRY TO THINK OF A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE FROM A SPECIFIC LESSON
Student 13: Group work is useful because everybody has different ideas, everybody has accidentally read something on the internet or somewhere. It’s been the case in technology that sometimes you don’t know how to make something or the recipe isn’t clear and there’s a chef in the team who advises you on how to make it and it’s easier then.
Student 8: I find that working in groups is useful when you are doing work that takes more time and is more difficult. For example, there was an art lesson where we did a comic book about Anne Frank’s diary, and now it’s hanging in the school, and all the people put some effort into making the pictures and it was much better than working alone and taking more time.
Student 9: Group work is useful when you do the work you like, when you like the lesson and when you know how to do a good job and you know how to do it and when you put in a lot of effort and you give it your best shot. There was a physics machine competition where you built a machine and the joy was great when it went and you won the competition.
Student 10: Working in groups is useful when everyone in the group works collectively and does everything together to get a good result. Especially in ethics lessons there is often group work. It’s not just our class, but there is a parallel class, so we work together, and then we get good results.
Student 11: Group work is useful when all the members put in a lot of effort, when there are few members. When there are 5-6, at least 1-2 will do nothing and get something in return. The work with Anne Frank has been successful through art.
Student 12: Collaboration is good when everybody puts in the same amount of effort. An example would be today’s technology lessons, because we didn’t manage to do a lot of things today, but if there were fewer people and nobody put in the effort, we wouldn’t be able to make our dish. Because everybody was hard-working, it worked.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WORKING IN GROUPS? WHAT DO YOU LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF BY WORKING WITH OTHERS?
Student 13: There has been a situation where we do something in collaboration and it seems like I know the answer, but sometimes my friends know better and then I realise that I don’t know everything. Others might know better.
Student 8: I learned that sometimes I know more than others on a subject and I help more and we all help others when we know more about something.
Student 9: I learnt that I am not as good as my friends on some topics. I find out what they think about me, whether they like working with me or not.
Student 10: by working with others I learn about myself, I learn how I can work with my friends, how I can help them, if they can help me, that I should listen to them if they know better.
Student 11: by working in a group I learn which things I am better at compared to others, I learn the good and bad qualities of others. And my own qualities – what I am good at, who I want to work with. My good qualities are teamwork, I never insult anyone, I don’t get angry with others.