Peer learning: when conversation encourages understanding of science and mathematics

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægForskningpeer review


The project reported investigates how a 15 weeks intervention with systematic peer learning (SPL) can be developed in science and mathematics in 3rd grade (Schmidt, 2015). We investigate and attempt to transpose positive international experiences (e.g. Thurston et al., 2020) with SPL to the Danish primary school at a grade level where students' interest in STEM subjects usually decline markedly. The success criteria for the project is that a) students' involvement in science and mathematics increase significantly (assessed through student questionnaires), b) the lack of interest can be countered by SPL (assessed via qualitative interviews), c) students achievement increases during the project (assessed with ‘signature tasks’) and that d) the SPL-didactics can work in the Danish school context (assessed through video observations). The study involves 15 classes, 30 teachers and approximately 300 students, which corresponds to 450 intervention lessons, of which 240 are videotaped.
A pre- and a post-test is developed as ‘signature tasks’, where a pair of students jointly engage in a short task and secondly answer a multiple-choice or open answer test individually. This test setup seeks to provide a characteristic reflection of the peer collaboration and the competence level of the individual student (‘a signature’). Signature tasks encompasses both mathematics and science elements and is given to all students in the 15 intervention classes and 10 control classes.
The presentation will have two parts: First an elaboration upon the design of signature tasks, where we provide an exposition of the difficulties we have encountered when attempting to construct a measure which reflect the complex intervention mechanism in our take on SPL. Secondly, we present our preliminary findings concerning the above-mentioned success criteria.
Publikationsdato19 maj 2021
StatusUdgivet - 19 maj 2021
BegivenhedNOFA8 – The 8th Nordic Conference on Subject Education: Creativity, Literacy and Critical Thinking in Subject Education: Issues and Trends for the 21st Century - Online due to the Corona pandemic, Bergen, Norge
Varighed: 18 maj 202120 maj 2021


KonferenceNOFA8 – The 8th Nordic Conference on Subject Education
LokationOnline due to the Corona pandemic


  • matematik
  • naturfag
  • cooperative learning
  • forskning


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