The effects of groupwork on mathematics attainment in Indonesian primary schools
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pupils working in small groups on Mathematics attainment of year-three pupils in ten public primary schools in Palembang, Indonesia. In the intervention group, pupils carried out Mathematics exercises by discussing and helping each other in mixed ability groups while those in the comparison group did the Mathematics exercises individually. This study used a non-equivalent control group design. To investigate the effects of the differences in classroom pedagogy, Mathematics test had to be devised and its validity and reliability established before the intervention research could be carried out. Children and teachers in the intervention and comparison groups were as similar as possible. In addition, short questionnaires for teachers and intervention group pupils were also administered to obtain their views about the new classroom pedagogy. Differences on pupils' Mathematics attainment were investigated by assessing the pupils at two time periods: pre-test (at the beginning of the term) and post-test (at the end of the term). The views of teachers and intervention group pupils were collected at the end of the term. The main data analysis was conducted to assess the contribution of pre-test scores, intervention/comparison group, gender and school to children's post-test scores. The views of teachers and pupils were sought as part of postintervention evaluation. This study found that the pre-test was highly predictive of the outcome. After controlling for pre-test scores, children in the intervention group scored significantly higher than those in the comparison group. There were no gender differences but there were variations in the effectiveness of individual schools. All intervention group teachers reported that the pupils learned more Mathematics under the intervention and most of them would use the method for future teaching practice. In addition, most of intervention group pupils liked to work in the small groups, liked to help each other and believed they learned more Mathematics in the small groups.