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Cooperative discussion strategy that allows learners to work in pairs within larger groups or even in whole class situations. The advantage of this technique is that it encourages the whole classroom participation. The learners are involved and have to contribute, to listen as well as talk and to interact with each other, even those who might not normally choose to work together. The use of this technique helps the learners to develop a conceptual understanding of a problem and gives them the opportunity to think aloud an issue with one other person before being asked to share it with the whole group. The strategy can be used as a lead up to small group work, to develop group roles, cooperation, and as a variation to the thinking-aloud-pair problem solving approach. [1]

Toolkit.png Conducting a Think-Pair-Share

Step by Step

  • Briefly introduce the basic rule of the technique and assign partners for the discussion. This way you will avoid that people choose the person they know the best in the group.
  • Announce a theme for the discussion and specify one or more questions.
  • Give participants a "THINK Time" to concentrate on the answer and develop their own point of view. If you consider an issue particularly complex you can use the Think-Write-Pair-Share. In this modification you ask participants to jot their ideas during this time.
  • Ask the students to PAIR with the partner that you have assigned them so that they can discuss the topic with him/her.
  • Randomly call a few participants and ask them to SHARE their ideas with the class.
  • If you want to conduct a new session change the partners composing each pair.

Facilitator's Role

  • Always monitor the discussion, walking around the room. You could overhear misunderstandings that can be easily addressed.
  • Control that both participants are taking part in to the discussion. If you notice that one is monopolizing the conversation you can propose a different exercise called Timed-Pair-Share. In this modification you give each participant a fixed amount of time to talk. [2]

Job Aid

Pdf.png Conducting a Think-Pair-Share Session


  1. March 2008), (19 January 2009)
  2. (19 January 2009), (19 January 2009), (19 January 2009), (19 January 2009)