ERIC Number: ED319598
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Cognitive Conflict and Cooperative Learning.
This study compared the effects of cooperative learning groups to traditional instruction in remediating students' misconceptions about temperature. Students from grades 3, 4, and 5 in two rural elementary schools participated in the study. Students completed a pretest, a cognitive conflict laboratory activity and a posttest that measured qualitative and quantitative aspects of their understanding of temperature. The control group completed the activity in traditional dyads and the experimental group completed the activity in cooperative learning groups composed of four students. The experimental group was given laboratory worksheets that asked the group to first solve a qualitative problem and the quantitative problems that referred to the same type of measurement to create cognitive conflict between the two representational systems related to temperature. Students were asked to compare their answers on the two problems. If their answers conflicted, they were told to decide which answer was correct and to carry out an experiment to prove their answer. No directions were given for control group students on the predictions or results, but they were asked to answer the questions on the laboratory activity sheet together. The results indicated that the conflict training was effective in changing students' concepts of temperature, but the cooperative learning groups were no more effective than the traditional dyads. (YP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (63rd, Atlanta, GA, April 8-11, 1990).