ERIC Number: ED307348
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Differences in Perceptions between Afro-American and Anglo-American Males and Females in Cooperative Learning Groups.
Piel, John A.; Conwell, Catherine R.
The effects of cooperative learning on students' perceptions of themselves and their roles in academic settings are explored. A group of 28 students from seven intermediate classrooms in an urban school system were selected to be videotaped while participating in a cooperative problem-solving lesson and were subsequently interviewed. The students were grouped heterogeneously by race and sex, and homogeneously by ability. The students' responses to the cooperative learning setting were analyzed within the following four major categories: (1) achievement level; (2) personal worth; (3) formation of friendships with students of different ethnic groups and sexes; and (4) enjoyment of school. Although responses in all four categories were positive for the majority of the students, significant differences in the perceptions of black and white, and of female and male students were found. These findings suggest that despite the demonstrated value of cooperative learning settings, they may subtly reinforce racial and sexual normative roles. The study concludes with the following three recommendations for future research: (1) teacher effect and experience should be considered and controlled; (2) individual group dynamics should be carefully studied; and (3) teacher role in structuring outcomes in cooperative groups should be investigated. A 13-item list of references is appended. (AF)
Descriptors: Black Students, Classroom Research, Cooperative Learning, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Intergroup Relations, Intermediate Grades, Naturalistic Observation, Racial Differences, Racial Relations, Self Concept, Sex Role, Student Attitudes, Student Role, Urban Schools, White Students
Dr. Catherine R. Conwell, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Univ., Charlotte.