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How Effective is Peer Interaction in Facilitating Learning? A Meta-Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

H Tenenbaum, Naomi Winstone, Rachel Avery, Patrick John Leman

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Early online date19 Oct 2019
DOIs
Accepted/In press18 Oct 2019
E-pub ahead of print19 Oct 2019

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Abstract

Decades of research indicate that peer interaction, where individuals discuss or work on a task collaboratively, may be beneficial for children's and adolescents' learning. Yet, we do not know which features of interaction may be related to learning from peer interaction. This meta-analysis examined results from 62 articles with 71 studies into peer interaction, involving a total of 7,103 participants aged 4 to 18 years. Peer interaction was effective in promoting learning in comparison with other types of learning conditions, Hedges' g = 0.40, 95% confidence interval [CI: 0.27, 0.54], p < .0001, across different gender and age groups. In contrast, however, peer interaction was not more effective than child-adult dyadic interaction. Moderator analyses also indicated that peer interaction is more effective when children are specifically instructed to reach consensus than when they are not. Findings extend theoretical considerations by teasing apart the processes through which children learn from peer interactions and offer practical implications for the effective use of peer interaction techniques in the classroom.

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