ERIC Number: ED417176
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-May
Group Membership: Teacher or Student as Selector.
Lanahan, John N.
This study investigated differences in productivity and student preference between cooperative groups formed in the classroom based on either learning objectives or students' personal and social interests. Participants were kindergarten students (10 African American, 5 Caucasian--6 girls, 11 boys) in an inner city class. The students' personal opinions about friendships and school work were gathered using brief interviews before and after their first groupings and after their second groupings. Students were asked their preferences in friends and workmates, then divided into groups, with each student having at least one friend in the group. These groups were given an academic task to complete together (drawing a picture), then asked to describe their own efforts in the task. Three weeks later, the students were divided into groups organized by the teacher to generate the most productive entities and prevent pre-selected friends from being together. Students were again told to create a picture together, then explain their role in the group. Students discussed which group they preferred to work in and why. Results indicated that students fared better, though not significantly, when grouped by the teacher based on learning objectives. Pictures drawn by students in the learning objective groups displayed more work and effort than those drawn in the social groups. However, most students preferred working in social groups with friends. Three appendixes describe the groupings. (Contains 11 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A