Students' Cognitions as Mediators of the Effectiveness of Small-Group Learning

Penelope L. Peterson*, Susan R. Swing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This study examined students' conceptions of student explanations as possible mediators of the relation of instructional stimuli (i.e., a mathematics seatwork task and observed helping in a small group) to seatwork achievement. Participants were 43 students from two combined second/third-grade classes. Students were taught a 10-day mathematics unit by their regular teachers. During the last half of each period, students worked on seatwork in small groups. Later, students were shown videotaped segments of explaining in their particular small group to elicit information on students' cognitions. Results indicated a significant positive relation among cognitions about explaining, small-group behavior, and seatwork achievement. Students' conceptions of a good explanation as one that provides specific content were significantly positively related to achievement as well as to effective explaining behavior in the small group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-312
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Students' Cognitions as Mediators of the Effectiveness of Small-Group Learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this