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Improving the effects of group working in classrooms with young school-aged children : facilitating attainment, interaction and classroom activity

Kutnick, P. and Ota, C. and Berdondini, L. (2008) Improving the effects of group working in classrooms with young school-aged children : facilitating attainment, interaction and classroom activity. International Journal of Educational Research, 18 (1). pp. 83-95. ISSN 0883-0355

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Abstract

Within primary school classrooms children are often seated in groups but research shows that pupils do not collaborate or learn effectively within these groups. This study is focused on children 5-7 years old. Using a quasi-experimental design, children in experimental classes undertook relational activities to improve the effectiveness of group working during a school year. Nine hundred and eighty children (from 17 experimental and 21 control classes) were assessed and compared for attainment (reading and mathematics), motivation for group working and behavioural/communicative actions. Over a school year, children in experimental classes improved more than children in control classes with regard to academic attainment, motivation to work with others, group and on-task focus and showed high levels of communicative interaction with partners. It is concluded that young children are capable of engaging in effective group work that promotes academic achievement.