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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimer: 1072-8325
ISSN En ligne: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v6.i4.20
17 pages

EXPLORING THE COMPLEXITIES OF GROUP WORK IN SCIENCE CLASS: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF VOICE AND EQUITABLE ACCESS TO RESOURCES FOR LEARNING

Gail Richmond
Department of Teacher Education, College of Education and Division of Science and Mathematics Education, College of Natural Science, Michigan State University

RÉSUMÉ

The interactions of 2 focus students with others in their cooperative base groups were examined as the students designed, carried out, and interpreted scientific investigations. These 2 students differed with respect to race, gender, socioeconomic status, and academic achievement. They were alike in that both maintained high levels of motivation and interaction with the scientific problems they faced. Their group interactions were not entirely positive, and the difficulties and inequities they faced are described. The data make manifest that group work is a complex process; educators must be sensitive and responsive to the subtle ways understanding can be enhanced or undermined as a result of group dynamics, which are in turn determined by individual expectations—often unfounded—of others' capacities and behaviors, and perceptions of desired group and individual outcomes. These observations also have implications for how educators help prepare prospective teachers to develop effective pedagogical strategies for teaching diverse students.


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