What Is Kagan?

If you’re looking for cooperative learning the way you did it at school, you’re in the wrong place!


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"It's All About Active Engagement!"

Every one talking, every time, every day

Signature PLD

Multi-Faceted, Adaptable, Responsive, Flexible

We provide the structure, you provide the ‘creative content’


Customised PLD

Empirically-Based Pedagogy

You and your students aren’t guinea pigs – it works!

Research & Articles

World-Wide Multi-National Pedagogy

The ultimate shared pedagogy! 

Find Out Where

Feedback From Principals And Teachers

We are happy to put you in touch with these people

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In a nutshell, ‘Kagan’ is a multi-faceted pedagogical approach that uses content-free Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures to ensure active engagement, develop oral language and interpersonal skills, and raise student achievement – across the curriculum.

Kagan ensures all students, and adults, are given equal opportunity to share and be heard, not shamed or singled out, but supported, accepted and affirmed, in a climate of empathy, respect, and tolerance.

Kagan Structures are an integrated approach

Kagan Structures are an integrated approach to curriculum delivery, developing social and communication skills, and creating a safe, culturally responsive and brain-friendly learning environment.


Kagan Structures are Content-Free

That means they can be used with any curriculum area, language, and with any year level.For instance, a RoundRobin can be used for skip-counting in maths, listing living things in science, sharing weekend activities, or listing adjectives about the main character.


Kagan Structures are 'Kagan'

Teachers who have attended any of our trainings, or have any of our resources, collectively name the professional development, resources, and pedagogical and philosophical approach simply as ‘Kagan’.

What Do We Care About The Most?

Fundamental to everything Kagan NZ stands for, is the learner

Our Story

We believe every learner’s experience should be one where they are:

  • Taught by competent and caring teachers, every year, that have an extensive repertoire of research-proven skills and strategies to actively engage, support, and grow every student – academically, socially and emotionally

  • Accepted and appreciated regardless of their culture, sex or ability

  • Respected and connected through sitting them in teams, and developing connections and interdependence between team members enabling them to support each other, share, and listen and value others’ opinions and perspectives

  • Safe through learning in a classroom that is inclusive and brain-friendly with core values of empathy, and tolerance, with a genuine appreciation of diversity

  • Developing and applying key social, communication and interpersonal skills

  • Actively shown how to be self-regulated learners, who are reflective, discerning, curious and highly motivated

  • Able to have fun and laugh every day

Kagan Structures allow teachers to address many dimensions of student learning with a single instructional practice.

Kagan Structures enable a classroom teacher to tackle multiple areas simultaneously throughout the class programme, knowing they are supporting all learners – especially their Priority Learners. Our structures are used throughout the day to ensure active engagement for all students – every one talking, every time!

By using structures, teachers can increase student achievement in any content area, enhance students’ thinking skills, reduce classroom disruptions, improve student’s communication skills, address different intelligences, and improve students’ social skills—all at once.

To the uninitiated, group work and cooperative learning are one and the same. Not in our world!  This is the biggest ‘aha moment’ for teachers at our PLD – finding out they were doing group work and not cooperative learning.

So…if you’re doing cooperative learning after morning tea on a Wednesday, with roles such as Praiser, Timer, or Recorder, it’s probably group work, and not Kagan.

Kagan versus Group Work

Our biggest barrier is that schools think they are ‘doing’ cooperative learning,

when in fact it is group work – which is fine if that’s what they want.

Just don’t call it cooperative learning as it gives us a bad name.

Kagan Cooperative Learning reduces the achievement gap – group work doesn’t!


Tell Me More

What Do We Do?


Jennie is an MOE Accredited Facilitator and brings a wide range of key skills to her facilitator role such as creating school culture, relationship development, cooperative leadership, collaborative practice, and coaching & mentoring.

Signature PLD

Our premier Signature PLD develops teacher and leader capability across a wide range of topics and can be a whole day, after-school, or twilight sessions. These can be held at your school or kura, within your CoL, or at a central venue.

Customised PLD

Ensure deep learning and sustainable outcomes when you collaborate with Kagan NZ to design and implement quality whole staff development. We work with you to adapt and personalise our powerful research-based strategies to improve student learning and behaviour, school culture, and staff efficacy.

Books, Resources & Teacher Tools

Kagan offers a huge range of resources to support teachers. From timers, to books, to classroom tools such as posters and Learning Chips, our aim is to twofold. To make teachers’ jobs easier by saving them valuable time from making resources, and to increase implementation of PLD by providing the right tools and resources for the job.

We Want To Make Difference

An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean.

"Why do you bother?" the old man scoffed. 'You're not saving enough to make a difference." The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water.

"Made a difference to that one," he replied.

And that's why we are here - making a difference for learners: one teacher; one principal; one school at a time

Read Our Story

You're Not Just A Number

We value our relationship with you and genuinely want to help you to make a difference for your students, teachers and school. We take the time to get to know you and what makes your school tick.

When you contact us, you will pretty much 100% of the time get Jennie – and she loves meeting new people and making new friends, so you’ll be in very special hands – smooth, facilitative, caring, helpful…

We are a small company, very small, so every one of our clients is extremely important to us - relationships are key, and we want you to succeed so you benefit, your students benefit, and NZ benefits.

We Get You

Between us we have well over 40 years of teaching experience, across all deciles, levels, and roles including teacher, AP, DP, Principal, SENCO, SLT and RTLB. Not to mention business experience.

We know what it is like to be a leader and teacher in today’s schools, with all the growing and increasing range of pressures, and because of this we go the extra mile.

We are extremely adaptable and flexible because we know that all you need is ‘trouble on the bus’ to turn the day upside down.

Being involved with Kagan means we get to meet teachers, leaders and trainers from all around the world, many of whom are jealous of our education system. Educators face many of the same challenges no matter where they are, and it's the same passion, drive, and professionalism that keeps them turning up every day. We are a great bunch of people!

We Break The Replacement Cycle

There are a lot of initiatives in schools, and there have been many come and go in the 30 years or so. Kagan has been around for over 30 years and has worked with those very initiatives that were flavour of the month, and then were replaced by the next best thing.

Have people skills always been important? How about the ability to communicate effectively? Work in a team?

Exhibit character and values such as tolerance, empathy and kindness? Question, think, hypothesise, analyse, evaluate...?

Read, write and be mathematically capable?

Well the good news is, that we continue to deliver all of the above, create the best learning conditions and build nice people, no matter what 'fad' is in. Often we make them a bigger success than they might otherwise have been.

We Are 21st Century Pedagogy

What is your definition of 21st Century pedagogy?

Is it as simple as using a device? Becoming an ILE? Is it developing a growth mindset? Bringing Mindfulness into the classroom? Inquiry for everything? Using brain-friendly teaching? Teamwork? Developing an Innovative Mindset? All of these...?

We believe that innovation, communication, teamwork, and intrapersonal and interpersonal skills are key 21st Century skills, so today's learning environments need to be geared towards how brains best learn, and ensure all students are effectively participating and contributing in learning teams that are composed of a diverse range of personalities, sex, cultures, and abilities.

And that's where we excel!

You Get A Bona Fide Kagan Trainer & Facilitator

Kagan NZ trainers are internationally trained by Laurie and Spencer Kagan to ensure you get the best learning experience possible. This means you get the very best training and facilitation available, with high fidelity to ensure high levels of implementation, support and adherence to research. Beware imitations!

As a facilitator, Jennie makes sure she is professionally growing and up-to-date by spending a lot of time in schools, engaging in professional talk with leaders and teachers, 'attending' webinars, reading, and taking part in Kagan's Summer Academy in Orlando every year.

One of her favourite books at the moment? The Innovators Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity (George Couros) - her thoughts so far?

OMG!!! Fixed Mindset, Growth Mindest, but now there's the Innovator's Mindset! Loving it x

Jennie's Reads

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