3a vii). Explain the relevance of small groups in the teaching of religious education.
Small groups (syndicate and pair groups)
This involves forming groups from the whole class. The groups should consist of between 3 to 5 members for syndicate groups and 2 learners for quick reference as pair groups. One can select learners to groups using their abilities, interests, friendships, gender, seating arrangements, ethnicity etc. In syndicate groups different topics are discussed and the findings shared by the rest of the class.
Normally these groups meet to share opinions, viewpoints, reactions etc. They are important because:
- They provide an opportunity for all the participants to interact in a way that is not possible in a class situation. This makes learning more meaningful.
- They promote self-discipline and reduce management problems.
- The audience learns the skill of listening as well as talking as they listen and exchange ideas.
- They also get opportunity to practice other manipulative skills through resources, observations etc.
- It can be used to let off steam when the audience seem restless and bored.
- The learners (audience) grow in confidence as they discuss, argue and exchange ideas with each other.
- There is emergence of leadership qualities through sharing of responsibilities.
- They develop the audience higher-level cognitive, interactive and communication skills, and increase their accountability and independence