The impact of cooperative learning on pupils’ peer acceptance and perceptions of peer support

Smith, Helen (2017) The impact of cooperative learning on pupils’ peer acceptance and perceptions of peer support. DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Cooperative Learning, an approach that emphasises positive interdependence and individual accountability in the classroom, has been widely promoted as a pedagogical approach that can enhance not only pupils’ academic outcomes, but also their social outcomes (Johnson & Johnson, 2000). More specifically, research has indicated some potential for Cooperative Learning to impact on pupils’ peer acceptance and perceptions of peer support. Questions remain, however, around a potential differential impact, and the extent to which findings can be generalised to UK, mainstream classes.

A quasi-experimental group design was used to investigate the impact of Cooperative Learning on pupils’ peer acceptance and perceptions of peer support. Data were collected from four schools (intervention N=101; control N=102). Cooperative Learning was delivered by teachers in Year 4 or 5 classes over an 11 week period. A week of social skills training was included in the delivery.

The Social Inclusion Survey (Frederickson and Furnham, 1998) was used to measure peer acceptance across four contexts (work same gender, work different gender, play same gender, play different gender), and perceptions of peer support were measured using the Classroom Supportiveness Scale taken from the Sense of School Community Scale (Battistich, Solomon, Kim et al., 1995).

Findings indicate that Cooperative Learning can enhance pupils’ perceptions of peer support. There appeared to be a differential impact of the intervention, in favour of pupils with initially low levels of perceived peer support.

Findings also indicate that Cooperative Learning can enhance pupils’ peer acceptance, particularly in the work context. Findings for the play context were mixed, with statistically significant increases found in different gender but not same gender peer acceptance ratings. There appeared to be a differential impact of the intervention, in favour of pupils with initially low or medium levels of peer acceptance.

Although some caution is advised in interpreting results – particularly since the degree of impact was not consistent across individual classes – it is concluded that Cooperative Learning approaches can have a valuable impact on pupils’ peer acceptance and perceptions of peer support, and that, reassuringly, they appear to have the greatest impact on those pupils with initially lower levels of peer acceptance and perceived peer support.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Lambert, Nathan
Ryrie, Neil
Keywords: peer acceptance perceptions of peer support cooperative learning Kagan
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1024 Teaching
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1050 Educational psychology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 44868
Depositing User: Smith, Helen
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2017 04:40
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2018 17:22
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/44868

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