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Promoting helping behavior in cooperative small groups in middle school mathematics. (English)
Am. Educ. Res. J. 31, No. 2, 369-395 (1994).
This study compared the effects on achievement and verbal interaction of two instructional programs designed to teach students how to work effectively in small groups: cooperative learning with instruction and practice in basic communication skills and academic helping skills (experimental condition) and cooperative learning with instruction and practice in basic communications skills only (comparison condition). Six 7th-grade general mathematics classes (n = 166) were randomly assigned to instructional condition. After preparation for group work, students worked in peer-directed small groups on a 4-week unit on operations with fractions. Results showed that Latino and African- American students gave and received more elaborated help, and showed higher achievement, in the experimental condition than in the comparison condition. Differences between instructional conditions were greater for one teacher than for the other. Reasons for these differences are discussed. No significant differences between conditions, in verbal interaction or achievement, appeared for white students. (orig.)
Classification: D53
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