Group work in elementary science: Towards organisational principles for supporting pupil learning

Christine Howe, Andy Tolmie, Allen Thurston, Keith Topping, Donald Christie, Kay Livingston, Emma Jessiman, Caroline Donaldson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    108 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Group work has been promoted in many countries as a key component of elementary science. However, little guidance is given as to how group work should be organised, and because previous research has seldom been conducted in authentic classrooms, its message is merely indicative. A study is reported, which attempts to address these limitations. Twenty-four classes of 10–12-year-old pupils engaged in programmes of teaching on evaporation and condensation, and force and motion. Both programmes were delivered by classroom teachers, and made extensive use of group work. Pupil understanding progressed from pre-tests prior to the programmes to post-tests afterwards, and results suggest that group work played a critical role. Organisational principles are extrapolated from the findings, which could be readily adopted in classrooms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)549-563
    Number of pages15
    JournalLearning and Instruction
    Volume17
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007

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    Keywords

    • Science education
    • Group work
    • Classroom dialogue
    • Primary school pupils

    Cite this

    Howe, C., Tolmie, A., Thurston, A., Topping, K., Christie, D., Livingston, K., Jessiman, E., & Donaldson, C. (2007). Group work in elementary science: Towards organisational principles for supporting pupil learning. Learning and Instruction, 17(5), 549-563. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2007.09.004