4.4.4. Mixed-Sex and Single-Sex Groups

Does the extent to which an individual uses features of co-operative / non-co- operative / competitive talk vary depending on whether they are in a mixed or single-sex group?

The discussion groups in the sample are very different in their gender mix and number of members, and so provide very limited information on this issue. It certainly does not appear that the girls in the single-sex groups are typically more co-operative than girls or boys in mixed-sex groups or single-sex boys' groups. Although the three girls in Group VII are all co-operative towards one another, and the single-sex boys groups and mixed groups do not display co-operative features to the same extent, if at all, the other two single-sex girls' groups are also less co- operative. G9 and G10 in Group V are largely non-co-operative and sometimes competitive towards one another. The girls in Group IV are partly co-operative, partly non-co-operative and competitive.

Without more data, it is impossible to say what effect being in a mixed or single-sex group has on the use of competitive or co-operative talk in the context of classroom assessment.


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