Can young children benefit from collaborative problem solving? Tracing the effects of partner competence and feedback

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jonathan R. Tudge, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This research was designed to ascertain the extent to which and the conditions under which 5- to 6-year-olds benefit from collaborative problem-solving. We were interested in the impact of (a) repeated collaborative sessions, with the problem difficulty tied to the current independent ability of the target children; (b) working with a more competent partner, an equally competent partner, or with no partner; and (c) immediate feedback from the materials. The data (obtained from a sample of 81 children) revealed that collaboration with a more competent partner was more beneficial than working alone or working with an equally competent partner, but only when feedback was not provided. With feedback, singletons improved more than those who worked with a partner, irrespective of the partner's relative competence. No benefits were found for repeated collaborative sessions; improvement occurred early and then levelled off. The results are set in the context of Piagetian and Vygotskian theory, and serve to illustrate that with regard to peer collaboration these theoretical positions are complementary rather than in opposition.

Additional Information

Social Development, 2(3), 242-259
Language: English
Date: 1993
Peers, collaboration, problem-solving, feedback

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