Quality of group interaction, ethnic group composition, and individual mathematical learning gains

Mouw, J. M., Saab, N., Janssen, J. & Vedder, P., Apr-2019, In : Social Psychology of Education. 22, 2, p. 383-403 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

High-quality helping behavior is essential for effective peer interaction and learning. This study focused on ethnic group composition and the quality of group interaction as predictors of individual mathematics performance. Video-observations of 92 fifth-grade students working in groups balanced on mathematics performance level were analyzed. We expected a difference in the quality of interaction and test scores of native and non-native students. Multilevel analysis identified process regulation and giving answers as positive predictors of mathematics performance, whereas giving or applying explanations contributed negatively. Non-native students generally had lower achievement scores than native students. Non-native students working in ethnically heterogeneous groups performed better than did students working in homogenous groups. Homogeneous groups used more high-quality helping behaviors and engaged more often in task-oriented behavior. Heterogeneous groups engaged more often in low-quality helping behaviors. Working with native students may have been conducive to non-native students’ understanding of word problems in realistic mathematics education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-403
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Issue number2
Early online date18-Feb-2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2019


  • cooperative learning, interaction, helping behavior, mathematics performance, ethnicity, group composition, SOCIALLY SHARED REGULATION, HELPING-BEHAVIOR, PRIOR KNOWLEDGE, LANGUAGE FACTOR, TEACHERS ROLE, STUDENTS, DISCOURSE, CLASSROOM, SCHOOL

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