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Title: Activities and prosocial behaviour in vertical tutor groups
Author: Best, Graham Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 6655
Awarding Body: Institute of Education (University of London)
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2014
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Both schools and society have a strong interest in promoting young people’s willingness and capacity for prosocial behaviour. Vertical Tutoring, a pastoral system whereby students are organised into mixed age tutor groups, has been claimed by its supporters to promote aspects of prosocial behaviour. However, only a few researchers have examined Vertical Tutoring in depth and none have explored the micro-detail of their activities and any relationship with prosocial behaviour. The writer seeks to address this through a mixed-method qualitative case study of the activities and prosocial behaviour in two vertical tutor groups at a challenging comprehensive school near London. He uses a series of focused observations, interviews with students and tutors, and a focus group of students, to collect data and Bar-Tal and Raviv’s six phase model of the cognitive development of helping behaviour, and the five techniques they identify for promoting it, as a framework for exploring the possible relationship between the structured activities students do in tutor time and any prosocial acts they perform. The writer finds that the most significant activities in the development of students’ willingness and capacity to behave prosocially seem to be the ones which familiarise the students with each other and create a bond between them. This leads to his contribution of a sixth technique for promoting the cognitive development of prosocial behaviour, in addition to the five already identified by Bar-Tal and Raviv. He also contributes a refinement to their six phase model, recommending the subdivision of the fifth phase into two levels dependent on the degree to which an individual generalises their perception of a general social contract of reciprocity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Curriculum ; Pedagogy and Assessment