Conceptual Change in Science Is Facilitated Through Peer Collaboration for Boys but Not for Girls

Patrick Leman, Yvonne Skipper, Dawn Watling, Adam Rutland

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Three hundred and forty one children (M age = 9,0 years) engaged in a series of science tasks in collaborative, same-sex pairs or did not interact. All children who collaborated on the science tasks advanced in basic level understanding of the relevant task (motion down an incline). However, only boys advanced in their conceptual understanding at a three week post-test. Discussion of concepts and procedural aspects of the task led to conceptual development for boys but not girls. Gender differences in behavioral style did not influence learning. Results are discussed in terms of the links between gender and engagement in conversations, and how gender differences in collaboration may relate to differences in participation in science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
JournalChild Development
Issue number1
Early online date12 Jan 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2016


  • gender
  • science learning
  • collaboration
  • concept
  • peer

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