The influence of context-specific and dispositional achievement goals on children's paired collaborative interaction

Harris, Amanda, Yuill, Nicola and Luckin, Rosemary (2008) The influence of context-specific and dispositional achievement goals on children's paired collaborative interaction. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 78 (3). pp. 355-374. ISSN 0007-0998

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Background. Research has demonstrated that working collaboratively can have positive effects on children's learning. While key factors have been identified which influence the quality of these interactions, little research has addressed the influence of children's achievement goals on collaborative behaviour. Aims. This paper investigates the influence of mastery and performance goals on the nature of children's collaborative participation while playing a problem-solving computer game with a peer. Sample. Forty-eight primary schoolchildren aged 8-10 years were divided into two groups: those displaying strong personal goal preferences (dispositional group: N = 14) and those whose goal preferences were context-dependent, displaying no consistent bias for either mastery or performance goals (context-dependent: N = 34). Children were paired on the basis of same gender, year group, and goal orientation. Method. Context-dependent pairs were assigned to either a mastery or a performance condition in which they received goal-focused instructions. Dispositional pairs received only the instructions to collaborate given to all groups. Collaborative sessions were videotaped and interactions coded. Results. Children who were assigned mastery goals engaged in significantly more elaborated problem-solving discussion whilst children who were assigned performance goals engaged in more executive help seeking and displayed lower levels of metacognitive control. Dispositional pairs shared some similar patterns, according to goal orientation, as context-dependent pairs. Conclusions. Goal-focused instructions can be used to influence the nature and quality of children's paired interactions. Instructing children towards mastery goals appears to promote a more collaborative style of interaction. © 2008 The British Psychological Society.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Amanda Louise Harris
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:37
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2012 11:38
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