In the 1970s, Dr Elliot Aronson developed the jigsaw technique in an effort to reduce inequality and resistance to ethnic differences in American public schools.

The jigsaw technique is a cooperative learning method where groups and projects are divided among smaller groups so members need to rely on one another to complete the jigsaw.

This method not only helped students enjoy their classroom activities but also work well with fellow students. They approached their classmates more positively, helping them complete their projects more efficiently.

Read on to discover how jigsaw learning methods can be effective in and outside the classroom.

  1. The Jigsaw Cooperative Learning Method

  2. Advantages Of The Jigsaw Method

The Jigsaw Cooperative Learning Method

If you’ve ever seen a 1,000-piece puzzle, you probably know how hard it is to complete it alone. Each piece needs to fit perfectly for it to work. Now you can choose to work on this by yourself, it’ll just take you a lot longer and maybe even frustrate you to no end. But what if you ask your friends or family to help you out? Not only will it make the activity a lot more fun but you’ll also find it easier to complete the task.

The jigsaw technique is based on a similar principle. Say you’re teaching a class of 30 students. Your students are very antsy and they don’t seem to get along all that well. What you can do is first divide them into six groups of five. Then, take a project like making a model solar system and give each group different tasks like crafting the sun, planets, asteroids, comets and other components. They’ll have to work with one another so they can combine their efforts to create the solar system. Each student group will be armed with specific knowledge which they’ll share with the rest of the classroom.

In the jigsaw learning strategy, tasks are created as parts of a whole to help students learn from one another, cooperate and collaborate with their group and other students. It helps them get a deeper understanding of the task or material so they can execute their ideas with confidence.

Advantages Of The Jigsaw Method

If you can teach what you’ve learned, you have mastered the concepts. The jigsaw technique encourages students and participants to get a thorough understanding of the training material. It may be used in a classroom or for employee training efforts.

In a professional setting, when it comes to teamwork and collaboration, many activities like trust circles and case studies depend on the jigsaw learning method. Organizations may incorporate these activities to encourage you to seek help from others, make room for different perspectives and teach yourself in the process.

Here are some advantages of jigsaw strategies:

  1. As a cooperative learning technique, the jigsaw method works in situations where participants are unwilling to cooperate with others

  2. The jigsaw learning technique positively reinforces the benefits of teamwork and collaboration to get work done on time

  3. In a conflict situation, where teammates or classmates don’t get along or aren’t on the same page, an effort to bring them together to work on a task will help them break these barriers to collaboration

  4. It encourages conversation and brainstorming so that participants can share their ideas freely without feeling judged

  5. It establishes a self-teaching and self-learning environment where in the process of teaching others, participants are able to clarify their doubts and get a good grasp of the material

Research suggests that a jigsaw method can help participants with low self-esteem, develop academic sensibilities and encourage positive attitudes toward others. Each member gets to participate, communicate their expectations and raise their concerns. This creates a wholesome and healthy learning environment.

Jigsaw strategies can be used both in a professional and academic scenario. In a professional context, skills like teamwork and leadership are significant for organizational success. If you want to learn how to leverage your skills and strengths at work, Harappa’s Managing Teamwork will teach you how!

Our course has been designed for individuals who want to learn about navigating different work styles, understanding their teammates and maximizing their team’s strengths. Frameworks like the GRIN (Goals-Roles-Interdependence-Norms) framework and the Bruce Tuckman Model will teach you how to build effective teams. Enroll today to become a reliable team player.


Explore topics such as What Is Cooperative LearningFunctions Of Management, What Is Teamwork and Important Management Skills from Harappa Diaries to become a well-rounded professional.

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