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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Improving the Effectiveness of Pupil Groups in Classrooms

This is the first large scale study designed to develop and evaluate effective group-work at the primary and secondary school level. The project aims to enhance the learning/achievement potential of pupils (Key Stages 1-3) working in classroom groups by actively involving teachers in a programme designed to raise levels of group-work during typical classroom learning activities. The research will first evaluate the effects of: training pupils in group-work skills, different group sizes and different task demands on the quality of group-work. It will then design a group-work programme aiming to enhance pupil attainments and motivation/attitudes. This will be systematically evaluated in relation to two control groups. By taking a what works and why approach, the project will promote a more considered approach to the use of groupings within classes. The results should allow teachers to adopt new approaches based on sound evidence of their effectiveness and consolidate and improve current uses of groupings. The findings will have an important contribution to make in a country-wide bid to raise standards and to reduce pupil disengagement. By working closely with practitioners to identify the conditions in which such effects can be maximised, the findings will contribute to practice, theory, and future government policy.