In this action research study, the author examined the effect of student generated peer groupings on academic achievement. The study was conducted in the author’s third grade classroom, in a public school district in rural Iowa. A student grouping attitude survey was conducted for a total of 16 third grade students who participated in the study (including ten males and six females), and revealed that most students preferred to self-select their partners / group members in the content areas of science, social studies and math. Observations of three students with diverse levels of academic achievement in the context of five different grouping scenarios (including both teacher and student generated groupings) revealed that students’ overall academic performance increased (up to 13%) in both partnerships and small grouping settings, despite who generated the groupings. Thus, indicating an overall positive correlation between peer collaboration and student achievement.
Foutch, R.L. (2016). Peer partnerships and collaboration in the classroom setting and their effects on academic achievement (Master's thesis, Northwestern College, Orange City, IA). Retrieved from http://nwcommons.nwciowa.edu/education_masters/10/