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Group Learning and Literacy Development: Examining Small-Group Collaboration in an Integrated Science/Literacy Context

Thu, April 16, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Sheraton, Floor: Fourth Level, Chicago VI&VII


Using a combination of several theoretical perspectives, this paper examines small group collaboration among young elementary school learners. Data were collected from audio and video-taped conversations in small groups, surveys, interviews, and students’ artifacts. An ethnographic approach was used to conceptualize the study while data analysis was done through inductive and deductive methods. Findings indicate that small group learning can facilitate science literacy development if the right group processes are put in place with adequate scaffolding. A teacher’s belief in the efficacy of small group collaboration does not translate to effective use of group collaboration. Teachers need help to learn how to facilitate group learning and not just depend on hunch.