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ERIC Number: EJ1094834
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 65
Do High Ability Learners Enjoy Learning Alone "or" in Groups? It Depends....
International Journal of Special Education, v30 n2 p32-43 2015
Pedagogical shifts favouring collaborative learning and findings of recent studies have raised concerns regarding the claim that gifted students prefer to learn alone. The purpose of this study was to further investigate if, when and how high ability learners want to work with or without others. The distributions of 416 high ability students (n = 416; Gr. 3-8) responses to survey items were analyzed. Items assessed their general feelings about working alone and in a group and the appeal of specific conditions. Although a majority indicated they enjoyed learning alone, more also enjoyed group work-under certain conditions. Age differences were found but none related to gender. More of the younger students enjoyed teaching their peers while more of the older students were eager to contribute to group discussions and be seated in clusters. Sitting alone became increasingly unpopular with older students. The broad variability in the distribution of students' ratings across conditions demonstrated the preferences of high ability learners are sensitive to many factors in the setting, not just the involvement of others. High ability learners may prefer to work alone when attractive conditions for working in groups are not available. Evidence-based guidelines for group work are offered.
Descriptors: Academically Gifted, Cooperative Learning, Independent Study, Student Surveys, Age Differences, Gender Differences, Foreign Countries, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Statistical Analysis, Student Attitudes, Preferences
International Journal of Special Education. 2889 Highbury Street, Vancouver, BC V6R 3T7, Canada. Web site: http://www.internationaljournalofspecialed.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 3; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools; Grade 6; Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 8
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada