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     Phase II Research Project
      Improving Effectiveness of Pupil Groups in Classrooms

This project has now completed. Major outputs include:


Prof. Peter Blatchford (Institute of Education, London)
Prof. Maurice Galton (Homerton College, Cambridge) and
Prof. Peter Kutnick (University of Brighton)

Initial Project Summary

This project developed and evaluated effective group-work at the primary and early secondary school level. The project aimed to enhance the learning/achievement potential of pupils (at Key Stages 1-3) working in classroom groups, by actively involving teachers in three areas in a programme designed to raise levels of group-work during typical classroom learning activities. The research first evaluated the effect of training pupils in group-work skills, and the effect of different group sizes and different task demands on the quality of group-work.

On the basis of these results it then designed a group-work programme which aimed to enhance pupil attainments, motivation and attitudes, and which was systematically evaluated in relation to two control groups. By taking a 'what works and why' approach, the project contributed to practice, policy, and theory and promoted a more considered approach to the use of groupings within classes.

The results should therefore allow teachers not only to adopt new approaches based on sound evidence of their effectiveness, but also allow them to consolidate and improve current uses of grouping. The findings had 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 should have an impact on future government policy.

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