An experimental study of collaborative reasoning in 86 7th-grade minority students from an urban, low-income school was conducted. The students completed items from the Test of Nonverbal Intelligence-Third Edition (TONI-3) and were asked to provide written explanations for their judgments. All students worked individually during the pretest and posttest phases of the study. During the experimental phase, some students worked independently while others worked in small, same-gender or mixed-gender groups. Significant improvements in judgments were evident during the experimental phase for all groups except the single-gender female group. The mixed-gender group reached the ceiling level of performance and outperformed both the students who worked independently and the collaborative, single-gender female group during the experimental phase. Posttest judgment scores declined and were not significantly different from pretest scores for any group. Significant improvements in written explanations for judgments were evident during the experimental phase and were maintained on the posttest by all groups. The students who collaborated had higher percentages of fully correct explanations on the posttest than students who worked alone. Collaborative experiences were beneficial for students' reasoning about unfamiliar, moderately difficult, nonverbal problems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Collaborative reasoning
- Gender differences
- Piagetian theory