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Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 505–536 | Cite as

Teacher Competencies for the Implementation of Collaborative Learning in the Classroom: a Framework and Research Review

  • Celia KaendlerEmail author
  • Michael Wiedmann
  • Nikol Rummel
  • Hans Spada
Review Article

Abstract

This article describes teacher competencies for implementing collaborative learning in the classroom. Research has shown that the effectiveness of collaborative learning largely depends on the quality of student interaction. We therefore focus on what a teacher can do to foster student interaction. First, we present a framework that draws a comprehensive picture of a teacher role we see as germane to fostering student interaction. The framework distinguishes between five teacher competencies that span across all implementation phases of collaborative learning: the ability to plan student interaction, monitor, support, and consolidate this interaction, and finally reflect upon it. Then, we review research on collaborative learning and structure this review along the five teacher competencies presented in the framework. The review targets relevant concepts and pivotal empirical research results about how to foster student interaction. For each competency, we first summarize relevant concepts and empirical results. We then apply the concepts and findings to a classroom situation. These teaching vignettes illustrate the functions of the five teacher competencies in fostering student interaction in collaborative learning. For each vignette, we discuss and highlight specific aspects of the presented teacher role and draw practical implications. Monitoring and supporting in the classroom should be trained in teacher education and facilitated by providing teachers with tools such as a checklist of beneficial student behaviors. These practical implications can inform educational practices and offer new directions for future research regarding promoting collaborative learning.

Keywords

Teacher role Teacher competencies Collaborative learning Student interaction Literature review 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research reported in this article was supported by the Graduate School Pro|Mat|Nat (Educational Professionalism in Mathematics and Natural Sciences). Pro|Mat|Nat is a project of the Competence Network Empirical Research in Education and Teaching (KeBU) of the University of Freiburg and the University of Education, Freiburg. The Graduate School is funded by the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. The authors would like to thank Felicitas Biwer and Magdalena Wischnewski for their help with the literature search. The authors also thank Lara Burt for proofreading the article and Timo Leuders for discussions on this project.

Ethical Standards

The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celia Kaendler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael Wiedmann
    • 1
  • Nikol Rummel
    • 2
  • Hans Spada
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyAlbert-Ludwigs-University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Educational ResearchRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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