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ERIC Number: EJ1092556
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0002-8312
Improving Children's Competence as Decision Makers: Contrasting Effects of Collaborative Interaction and Direct Instruction
Zhang, Xin; Anderson, Richard C.; Morris, Joshua; Miller, Brian; Nguyen-Jahiel, Kim Thi; Lin, Tzu-Jung; Zhang, Jie; Jadallah, May; Scott, Theresa; Sun, Jingjing; Latawiec, Beata; Ma, Shufeng; Grabow, Kay; Hsu, Judy Yu-Li
American Educational Research Journal, v53 n1 p194-223 Feb 2016
This research examined the influence of contrasting instructional approaches on children's decision-making competence. A total of 764 fifth graders, mostly African Americans and Hispanic Americans, from 36 classrooms in eight public schools serving children from low-income families completed a six-week unit on wolf management, using either direct instruction or collaborative groups, or were waited-listed controls. Analysis of children's essays on a topic unrelated to wolves revealed that students who participated in collaborative groups but not students who received direct instruction acquired decision-making strategies and transferred them to the novel task. Students in collaborative group work classrooms wrote essays that were significantly better than essays of students from direct instruction classrooms in each of the three aspects of decision making that were evaluated--considering more than one side of a dilemma, comprehensiveness of reasons, and weighing the importance of reasons. In contrast, direct instruction students performed no better than uninstructed control students.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A080347