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Effects of instruction in groups on individual equation writing Underwood, Barry Richard

Abstract

This study was motivated by the writer's belief that youngsters do have a tendency to group, and that this propensity, no matter how emphemeral and vacillating it may be at times, should be taken into account in the design of teacher strategies. Grade four students were assigned to two groups at random, and then, in one group, subgroups of four students were randomly made up. All students were instructed by film loops for three days on writing an equation for a division problem. On the fourth day of the experiment, the students wrote a criterion test of twenty-five division problems. The investigation of student-student interaction was done by comparing the effects of instruction to groups of four students with those of instruction to the individually taught students. A two-tailed t-test was used to test the significance between the means of the two groups and a F-test was employed to test the difference in the variances of the two groups. There was no significant difference between the individual-taught group and the group-taught group in terms of either mean or variance. The conclusion was drawn that the use of small groups to teach students to write equations for division problems did not improve the instruction. But it was felt that further research using different dependent variables is both warranted and desirable.

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