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Pulling together

"The problem with group work is that everybody thinks that it is a common feature of life in schools, but what they mean by group work varies hugely," Donald Christie, vice dean (research) at Strathclyde University, says.

"We are talking about collaborative group work. It is not simply about children being organised into groups and doing individual work according to which group they are in, but about children working as groups and collaborating in the learning activities."

When group work has been researched in the past, Dr Christie said, it has usually been in experimental settings or under conditions where children have been taken out of their normal classroom environment. This research, however, aimed to show the impact of using group work strategies in normal classroom activities.

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