The effects of certain collaborative strategies and traditional grouping on problem-solving and computational skills in a Virgin Islands elementary school

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

First Committee Member

John Kleinert, Committee Chair


The study compared the effects of certain collaborative learning strategies and traditional grouping on students' problem-solving and computational skills. The primary hypothesis was: collaborative learning situations provide more effective learning experiences than traditional grouping.Variables of this study were measured through the use of the mathematics section of the CAT and a four-part questionnaire to assess achievement expectancies in mathematics, social comparison in mathematics, group work, and social skills. An experimental group received instructions based on the collaborative learning strategies while a control group was taught in the traditional mode during the study period of nine weeks.Procedures followed were: students were randomly assigned to control and experimental groups; pretests were administered to both groups; a different instructional procedure was administered to each group; posttests, identical to the pretests, were administered to both groups; hypotheses testing were conducted for within groups and between groups.The study revealed that the two groups had comparable mathematics knowledge and levels of perception at the onset. However, after the study period, there were no statistically significant improvements in social skills, problem-solving and computational skills, achievement expectancies, affinity, or appreciation for mathematics for both groups. It was therefore concluded that the collaborative learning experience of the experimental group did not statistically significantly improve computational skills and perceptions about mathematics. However, ancillary findings included: (1) Students developed higher self-esteem based on basic self-acceptance and gratification through the identity of each rotatable role. (2) Students showed less disruptive behavior and more on task behavior. (3) Students developed greater collaborative skills for effective teamwork. (4) By empowerment, students learned to display more respect for authorities. (5) Students displayed more accepting and supportive relationships with peers in spite of the diversification (sex and ability) within the groups. (6) Students became more responsible and accountable for their own and group members academic and social behaviors.


Education, Elementary

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