"Cooperative grouping" is a new technique trend for the 21st century classroom that introduces students to beneficial group activities and prepares them for careers that demand fluid team approaches to solving problems.
Cooperative grouping is used to inspire greater student exploration and engagement during lessons, but there are three major challenges that many classes will face when implementing the strategy.
First, using this strategy to demonstrate an assignment may reduce the amount of exposure given to that lesson. This is a common concern, as group activities may require that more attention be given to the classroom and the students and making sure the assignment is completed, while less of the content is being explored. This challenge can be remedied by simply evaluating which lessons are more successfully demonstrated through group activity than others.
Once the assignment is chosen, the next challenge is discovering how successful it will actually be and how much student engagement is produced. Students can become less engaged as the natural course of the activity unfolds, because of their differing personalities or those students who feel like "they know more" than others. The best course of action in those situations is knowing when to intervene. Like anything else that involves group activity, science lessons will bring out the best and worst of students, but following through can be beneficial.