Collaborative learning: what effects will this have during a creative writing session, on younger children in a mixed age setting?

Roberts, John (2009) Collaborative learning: what effects will this have during a creative writing session, on younger children in a mixed age setting? Masters dissertation, University of Cumbria (awarded by University of Lancaster). Item availability may be restricted.

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This research investigates how the older children in a mixed age junior class (with ages from seven to eleven years) contributed to the learning of the children in year three (Y3) in a creative writing activity. This is a practitioner research project examining my practice as a teacher within my own classroom in a small rural school. The study is informed by literature on group work in general and collaborative learning in particular. It is also influenced by key issues surrounding creative teaching and learning. The data sources include individual interviews and scrutiny of written work but are formulated mainly from unstructured observation and the analysis of field notes. My approach to analysis was based on a theoretical framework which incorporated Wenger’s social theory of learning. The findings of the study highlight collaborative learning strategies by Y3 children as they search for guidance in the completion of a creative written task. The boys were more forthcoming about their need for advice with regard to writing than the girls. However, all the children in the year group showed a noticeable improvement in their creative written work and each one was able to outline in interview the specific help given by older children. This was reinforced by evidence I found after scrutiny of their written work. Furthermore, certain peripheral trends emerged which are noteworthy. High achievers in year six (Y6) were generous with advice and were constructive in their appraisal of the writing of younger children. Also, there was a propensity for less able children to seek advice or to use the writing of more able children as a ‘model’ regardless of the age group they were in. This often involved older children ‘modelling’ good written practice from younger children. Overall, the findings open up avenues for further research, particularly with regard to the powerful elements of collaboration, within a creative teaching and learning context.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Masters)
Departments: Professional Services > Research Office & Graduate School (ROGS)
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2010 14:27
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 08:01
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