Children at the earliest developmental levels (birth to an emotional level of 2 years) will typically need the adult to utilize the techniques in Phases 1-3. Only when the child is developed emotionally to the level of 24 months will an adult use Phase 4 and then later Phase 5 with the learner.
The aim of sharing the work is to give the learner the opportunity to learn dependence and interdependence. To be a person who does something, does not necessarily mean that one has to do everything, or do everything perfectly.
Environments and activities are introduced that give the learner tasks to do that are based on the things the learner has experienced success in doing.
In the beginning the tasks can be completed in a few seconds up to a few minutes without any consideration for how perfectly the learner can complete them.
The adult needs to let the learner know which part of the tasks he/she will complete and which part the adult will complete. If the learner is reluctant to do the task after being asked several times, the adult can suggest they do it together.
The adult must make sure to give the learner plenty of time to complete the task, but if he/she still won't do it, consider if the task is too hard. In complex tasks the adult may need to use various techniques (e.g. offering, imitation, etc.) for different parts. Let the learner know how long the task will last and what will follow.
The purposes of the Phase of Sharing the Work are:
- to increase the learners experience of success
- to involve the learner in new social relationships
- to increase the learner's interest in acquiring new abilities