Pressler, Shirley J. and McCleod, S. (2004) Children’s friendship, talk and analogy problem solving. Proceedings of the British psychological society, 12 (2). p. 150. ISSN 1350-472X

Objectives: To explore the relationship between the quality of ‘talk’ and analogy problem solving outcomes amongst different friendship groups in the classroom.
Design: Three groups of girls and three groups of boys, each consisting of four members, were compared in respect of ‘talk’ and problem solutions raised whilst solving an analogy problem solving task. Gender groups consisted of four friends, two friends with two acquaintances (mixed) and four acquaintances.
Methods: The three groups of girls and three groups of boys were instructed to attempt to solve the analogy problem task together as a group after carrying out a familiarity task. Each group was video-recorded separately in the classroom whilst undertaking the analogy problem solving task.
Analysis: Problem analogy outcomes were analysed in terms of sophistication of solutions considered and explanations for solutions raised, in conjunction with types of talk (e.g. disputational, cumulative and exploratory) across the three friendship groups, separately for boys and girls.
Conclusion: As might be expected boys appeared to be more task focused than girls. The girl friendship group evidenced the richest talk (exploratory), which unexpectedly did not lead to the most sophisticated solutions. Discussion challenges the current attainment focused educational climate.

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