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Group composition of cooperative learning: Does heterogeneous grouping work in Asian classrooms?

By Thi Hong Thanh Pham and Robyn Gillies

Abstract

Constructing an appropriate group is important to teamwork success. Although, heterogeneous grouping is widely recommended in Western countries, this method of grouping is questioned in Asian classrooms because Asian and Western students have different cultures of learning. Unfortunately, this issue has not been addressed in any research to date. This study aims to investigate how Vietnamese students should be grouped so that they can maximize their opportunities to learn. The study is in two parts: a pilot study and an intervention. The pilot study included twenty students and was conducted for four weeks. The intervention consisted of one hundred and forty five students and lasted for eight weeks. In both studies, students answered a questionnaire survey and ten students were interviewed. The results of both studies showed that friendship grouping was more preferred. Future researchers should take these findings into consideration so that cooperative learning activities can be designed adaptively in Asian classrooms

Topics: Cooperative learning, Grouping, Friendship groups, Learning cultures, Mixed-ability groups
Publisher: Canadian Center of Science and Education
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:espace.library.uq.edu.au:UQ:220003

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