Pressler, Shirley J. and Ryley, L. (2003) The Impact of Friendship on Social Mediators of Problem Solving by Analogy; Implications for Classroom Practice. Proceedings of the British psychological society, 11 (2). p. 232. ISSN 1350-472X

Use of analogy, peer support, and friendship have all been shown to have an impact on children’s problem solving. The main objective of the study was to investigate social exchanges amongst groups of problem solvers in a learning context, using established problem analogies. Groups contrasted varied in respect of level of friendship. These consisted of three groups: - (i) friends, (ii) acquaintances, and (iii) a mixture of friends and acquaintances. The established problem materials used, had previously shown knowledge re-structuring during problem solving by analogy, when children completed problems on an individual basis but in the classroom group. In the current study problem analogy outcomes were analysed in terms of solutions considered, and explanations for solutions raised, in conjunction with types of talk (e.g. disputational, cumulative and exploratory) across the three types of friendship groups. The success of small group problem solving and the impact of friendship are discussed. The usefulness of collaborative learning, involving conflict and/or co-operation is explored in relation to theories of development and implications for classroom practice.

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