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An investigation into individual gains through group-work Children learning together Gregor Watson Teacher Action Research Scholar 2007-08 Glashieburn.

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Presentation on theme: "An investigation into individual gains through group-work Children learning together Gregor Watson Teacher Action Research Scholar 2007-08 Glashieburn."— Presentation transcript:

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2 An investigation into individual gains through group-work Children learning together Gregor Watson Teacher Action Research Scholar Glashieburn Primary School, Aberdeen Presentation at STNE Seminar Perspectives on Learning 18 March 2008 at University of Aberdeen

3 Learning Three views of learning: 1.Learning is being taught 2.Learning is individual sense making 3.Learning is building knowledge as part of doing things with others From Learning; a sense-makers guide Commissioned by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers Written by Chris Watkins, tutor for MA Effective Learning at University of London Institute of Education

4 What some children said I find it hard to work all on my own sometimes so me and my partner give each other ideas (Rhea) You learn more because if you explain to people what to do you say things that you wouldnt say to yourself, really. So you learn things that you wouldnt know if you were just doing it by yourself (Annie)

5 Group-work behaviour Kids not actually working together but in parallel, and not communicating Arguing in a futile way Not listening to each other One child dominating proceedings Often off task From research on group working in classrooms (1990 – 1999) by Open University Professor of Language and Communications, Neil Mercer

6 3 types of interaction Source: Mercer (1995) Disputational talk - disagreement and individualised decision making Cumulative talk – positive but uncritical comment Exploratory talk – constructive criticism, justified challenges, solutions offered

7 Thinking Together framework 1.Teacher leads group talk, modelling and encouraging skills necessary for exploratory talk (i.e. listening to others, active participation, respectful challenging, reasoning, negotiating) 2.Elements of group work evaluated and rules made and agreed on for working together successfully Source: Mercer (2005)

8 The context for my research Arrival of interactive whiteboard School registration to on-line learning platform Education City

9 Aims To find if structured group-work, following the Thinking Together model, can improve individual attainment in maths activities, more than unstructured group-work

10 Procedure – Part 1 Individual activity to measure gain from practising with group (2nd Assessment) Unstructured group working at the whiteboard Individual activity on class computer to form baseline measure (Initial assessment)

11 Part 2 Individual activity On class computer (3rd Assessment) Gain from structured group-work measured by comparing 2nd individual assessment with the 3rd Groups working at whiteboard using learned strategies for success Teach and practise framework for Thinking Together

12 Initial findings The class experience of Unstructured group-work matched that found by Mercer The group activity scores are consistently higher than mean individual scores from the baseline and second assessments Individual scores for the second assessment are neither consistently better nor worse than the baseline measure

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14 Design and participants Within group design – children will participate in both conditions of the research Three symmetrical maths groups Quantitative data – score from activities Qualitative triangulation – focus group


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