This study gives an account of a teaching situation in the eighth grade with 20 student's aged 14-15. The students have worked with a scientific problem focussed on the greenhouse effect and the earth's global warming, based on a problem solving and information seeking way of working in groups. Their task has been to describe the phenomena and factors that influence the earth's global temperature in various ways. The students have worked in groups comprising 4-5 students per group and have had, at their disposal, access to ICT, books, articles and a special start and resource page on the Internet. The purpose of the study has been to account for the ways in which the students' cognition and knowledge develops during the problem solving process and what the factors are that influence learning. In order to describe this process all comments, assumptions, hypotheses and discussions have been documented using five video cameras. The students' cognitive and knowledge development as well as their understanding during the process has been continuously documented through the use of written tests and interviews. In this way it has been possible to assess the students' knowledge before, during and after the teaching period. A total of over 50 hours of video film and other material has been analysed. A central point of departure for the study has been the assumption that student learning occurs in social contexts and in linguistic interaction with other students. According to a socio-cultural and social constructivistic theory, knowledge develops through discussions when people communicate and try to understand one another. The results of the study point to discrepancies between different students' ways of tackling the problem. Students who show a marked cognitive and knowledge development pattern have more effective solving strategies than those whose development is not as marked. In order to explain the causes that lie behind these differences I have constructed five different "learning attitudes". These are: creators of meaning, constructors of knowledge, ethical evaluators, reproducers and maintainers of relationships. When these learning attitudes are related to the students' cognitive and knowledge development it becomes evident that the creators of meaning, constructors of knowledge and ethical evaluators have a predominantly stronger cognitive and knowledge development that the reproducers and maintainers of relationships. The study also shows that collaboration is an important factor in order to succeed during the problem solving process. Some productive collaborative types are: asymmetrical collaboration, collaboration that results in a change of perspective and collaboration that develops the students' learning attitudes.
|Translated title of the contribution||Pupils interactive learning in groups during problem solving processes|
|Award date||2001 May 18|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
Bibliographical noteDefence details
Place: School of Education Malmö, at 10.15pm, sal E 122
Name: Sjöberg, Svein
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Educational Sciences
- social constructivistic theory
- problem solving in groups
- learning attitudes
- greenhouse effect
- cognitive and knowledge development
- socio-cultural theory.
- Pedagogy and didactics