The Power of Student Teams: Achieving Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Learning in Every Classroom Through Academic Teaming

2020 FAPA Award Winner – Reference: Silver

The Brain that Does the Work is the Brain that Learns.

In many classrooms, the teacher’s role is to talk and the student’s role is to listen. Whose brain is doing most of the work in this scenario? Authors Michael D. Toth and David A. Sousa present an alternative: a new pedagogical model called student-led academic teaming. In academic teams, students collaborate, peer coach, and peer teach while engaging in rigorous, standards-based tasks a combination that leads to true social, emotional, and cognitive learning (SECL). The evidence to support the power of student teams includes:

A groundbreaking 10,000-student research study on a large urban district
Neuroscience and other scientific research
Experiences from superintendents, school leaders, teachers, and students from dozens of demonstration schools around the country
Connections to social-emotional skills, 21st century skills, growth mindset, student engagement, student behavior, and equity and access

Student-led academic teaming takes familiar grouping strategies to the next level, providing a path to success for every student, in every classroom, in every school; This is the last major school reform you will ever have to make.

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