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Collaborating with a Skilled Peer: The Influence of Achievement Goals and Perceptions of Partners' Competence on the Participation and Learning of Low-Achieving Students

Anthony J. Gabriele and Carmen Montecinos
The Journal of Experimental Education
Vol. 69, No. 2 (Winter, 2001), pp. 152-178
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20152657
Page Count: 27
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Collaborating with a Skilled Peer: The Influence of Achievement Goals and Perceptions of Partners' Competence on the Participation and Learning of Low-Achieving Students
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Abstract

The authors examined whether motivational goals influenced the participation and performance of low-achieving students during collaborative problem solving with a high-achieving partner. Thirty-five pairs of 4th- and 5th-grade students were randomly assigned a set of instructions designed to induce students to adopt a learning goal or a performance goal. The following day, the students were individually given a posttest on problems similar to those worked on collaboratively. The low-achieving students given learning-goal instructions performed better on the posttest problems and perceived their partner's competence as more similar to their own than did the low-achieving students given performance-goal instructions. No differences in overall amount or level of low achievers' participation during collaborative problem solving were observed. Implications of the findings for the use of peer learning in heterogeneous classrooms are discussed.

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