Pupil groups are found in all UK primary classrooms. In the classroom,
groups provide a social context for teaching and learning. There
is an extensive research literature on how groups can be used in
teaching, and on how to group children. Despite this research, there
is little evidence that pupil groups are used effectively in classrooms.
And, there is still a debate concerning what defines a 'group',
or what constitutes best practice in group work. The potential of
small group work to promote effective teaching and learning of science
at key stage 1, has not been extensively explored. The central aim
of this research therefore, is to identify and characterise the
conditions necessary for effective small group work in science at
key Stage 1. The project will also evaluate the effect of different
aspects of group work on pupil motivation and achievement. The project
will focus on schools in East Sussex and consist of four phases.
The initial phase will run a Delphi-style study of grouping of pupils
within classroom organisation, practice and activities in science.
Phase 2 will work in selected classrooms to develop an exemplar
programme of group work in science. The third (intervention) phase
will evaluate the impact of this programme in a new sample of classrooms.
The fourth phase will disseminate science group work skills, methods
and resources identified in the research, to practising teachers