The Jigsaw Classroom: Overview of the Technique
Overview of the Technique The jigsaw classroom is a cooperative learning technique with a three-decade track record of successfully reducing racial conflict and increasing positive educational outcomes. Just as in a jigsaw puzzle, each piece--each student's part--is essential for the completion and full understanding of the final product. If each student's part is essential, then each student is essential; and that is precisely what makes this strategy so effective. Here is how it works: The students in a history class, for example, are divided into small groups of five or six students each. Eventually each student will come back to her or his jigsaw group and will try to present a well-organized report to the group. To increase the chances that each report will be accurate, the students doing the research do not immediately take it back to their jigsaw group. Once each presenter is up to speed, the jigsaw groups reconvene in their initial heterogeneous configuration.