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Academic Performance , Prejudice , and the Jigsaw Classroom : New Pieces to the Puzzle

by I. Walker, M. Crogan
Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology ()

Abstract

This field study investigated the effects of a cooperative learning environment and a Jigsaw classroom environment on academic performance, self-esteem, liking of school, liking of peers, and racial prejudice. Ss were 103 children in Grades 4-6, in 2 separate schools. The cooperative learning condition was used as a baseline measure of the effects of cooperation, against which the effects of a Jigsaw method, involving both cooperation and interdependence, were compared. The results reveal that Jigsaw produced significant improvements on measures of academic performance, liking of peers, and racial prejudice. In contrast, the effect of the cooperative condition exacerbated pre-existing intergroup tensions. The present findings demonstrate that the Jigsaw method can be applied successfully in Australian conditions, and lend support to G. A. Allport's (1954) contact hypothesis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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