ERIC Number: ED352366
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Middle School Math Students' Reactions to Heterogeneous Small Group Work: They Like It!
Change over time in the cross-achievement level regard of seventh-grade students for teammates in small heterogeneous cooperative learning groups was studied for 184 middle school students (55 percent Hispanic Americans, 27 percent Whites, 14 percent Blacks, and 3 percent Asian Americans) in Los Angeles County (California). Student perceptions about group work and student judgments about how much they had learned through group participation were also studied. This study was conducted in four phases. Students responded to multiple questions at different stages of the study; and each question was examined separately for high, middle, and low achieving students. Students also completed mathematical pretests and posttests to determine the impact of the instructional treatments on students' mathematical problem solving skills. Results indicate that this type of cooperative learning is an instructional methodology that helps break down interpersonal barriers between high, middle, and low achieving students. It may also diminish the possible consequences of being locked into friendship groups where poor attitudes toward school and low aspirations are the norm. The study shows that even high achieving students perceive the benefits of working in heterogeneous groups. These results may allay the fears of those who think that the only role for high achieving students in cooperative learning groups is that of helper. Nine tables present study findings. (SLD)
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, Cooperative Learning, Grade 7, Heterogeneous Grouping, High Achievement, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Longitudinal Studies, Low Achievement, Mathematics Achievement, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Peer Relationship, Small Group Instruction, Student Attitudes, Student Reaction, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).