The study examined the effects of individual versus group learning on task achievement of primary school pupils, employing an experimental design. Data were obtained from sixteen (16) grade six pupils, with the range from 10 to 12 and the mean age of X = 10.3, eight (8) males eight females. Five hypotheses were generated and analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test and results revealed that there was a significant different in the performance difference in the task achievement of male and female students that were exposed to individual learning. (U(6) = 8.000, p <.05). More so, there was no significant difference in the task achievement of male and female students that were exposed to group learning. (U(6) = 5.000, p <.05). It was also observed that there was no significant difference in the task achievement of pupils from intact and single parent homes that were exposed to group learning. (U(6) = 6.500, p <.05) it was also observed that there was no significant difference in the task achievement of pupils from intact and single parent homes that were exposed to group learning (U(6) = 2.500, p <.05). The findings of the study outlines pupils who are exposed to group learning perform better than those exposed individual learning, therefore schools should adopt the group learning practices to enhance the performance of the pupils. At the end of the study, there were recommendations for further studies.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      




Title Page                                                      

Certification                                                   i 

Dedication                                                        ii

Acknowledgment                                             iv – vi

Abstract                                                       vii 

Table of contents                                          viii

Chapter: Introduction     One

l. l    Background to the study                         1-15

1.2   Statement of the problems                       16

1.3   Purpose of the study                               16

1.4   Research Questions                                17

1.5   Significance of the study                         18

1.6   Scope                                                   18

1.7   Assumptions                                         19

1.8  Operational Definition of Terms                19

1.9   Hypotheses                                           21


Chapter Two: Theoretical Framework and Literature Review

2.1       Introduction                                       22

2.1.2    Theoretical Framework                         22

2.1.3      Construction Theory                                   24

2.1.4      Social Constructivism Model                      25

2.1.5      Facilitation Theory                                      28

2.1.6      Experiential Learning Theory                        29

2.1.7.     The action learning paradigm                      32

2.1.8      Goal Setting Theory                                    33

2.1.9      Social Interdependence Theory                    35

2.2         Review of Related Studies                           39

2.2.1.      Individual versus Group learning as a function of task Complexity                       39

2.2.2     Collaborative versus individual learning and the role of explanations                   41

2.2.3     Collaborative learning and student’s experience  42

2.2.4.    Learning and skill                                              43

2.2.5     Learning and Task Achievement                         47

Chapter Three:


3.1     Research Design                                                     49

3.2     Population of the study                                          49

3.3       Sample and sampling techniques                        50

3.4      Instrumentation for data collection                       51

3.5       Validation of instrument                                      51

3.6      Method of data collection                                    54

3.7      Method of data analysis                                      54

Chapter Four: Result and Discussion

4.1     Demographic data                                               56

4.2    Discussion of Findings                                         67

Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation                   5.0  Summary of result                                         71

5.1 Conclusion                                                    72

5.2 Recommendation                                            74

Appendix 1                                                         77

Appendix 11                                                        78








1.1   Background of the Study

Learning is acquiring knowledge or developing the ability to perform new behaviors. Learning is the capacity to build knowledge through individual reflection about external stimuli and sources, and through the personal re-elaboration of individual knowledge and experience in light of interaction with others and the environment. (Sinister, 2000). Social constructivist scholar’s view learning as an active process where learners should learn to discover principles, concepts and facts for themselves, hence the importance of encouraging guesswork and intuitive thinking in learners (Brown 1989, Ackerman 1996).

Learning experience on the other hand, can be seen as how the learning occurs, what goes on while the pupil is learning, and how the pupil learns what he or she is been taught. The ultimate goal of teaching is to ensure that the person being taught is able to understand what he or she is taught and at the end can reproduce or say what he was taught. in doing this, teachers use many means to enhance their teaching so as to ensure that the pupils are able to understand and assimilate what they have been taught. These means can either be through group learning or individual learning.

Group learning involves joint intellectual efforts by students or students and teachers together. Pupils who engage in group learning usually do this in groups of two or more. They work together to achieve a particular aim. Group learning takes place when students cooperate to construct a consensus to an open-ended activity. In classrooms of groups, they do more of discussions and class participation. Every member of the group makes his own contribution thereby adding to each other’s knowledge. Recent research suggest that learning is fundamentally influenced by the context and activity in which it is embedded (Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989) Learners with different skills and backgrounds therefore collaborate in tasks and discussions in order to arrive to a shared understanding of the truth in a specific field (Duffy & Jonassen, 1992).

Individual learning on the other hand is a student relying on himself or herself for knowledge base. Individual learning implies that knowledge and cognitive skill are assets that teacher can transfer to the learner (Perkins & Saloman, 1988). When a person is learning individually, they take all the information they already have and connect it to what they are experiencing at the moment in time to form a new knowledge. This learning can be described as teacher-centered; that is, the teacher provides the major source of information, assistance, criticism and feedback. Before entering school, young children learn to walk, talk, and use their hands to manipulate toys, food, and other objects. They use all of their sense to learn about the sights, sounds, taste, and smells in their environments.

They learn how to interact with their parents, siblings, friends and other people important to their world. When they enter school, children learn basic academic subjects such as reading, writing, and mathematics. They also continue to learn a great deal outside the classroom. They learn social skills for interacting with other children.   

Children enter primary school between the ages of six to eleven years, depending on the school area, but most primary school pupils function developmentally anywhere between six to eleven years of age, depending on the domain (for example, a child may be accomplished in the area of social-emotional development but be  below the average in physical development for his/her age). Such considerable individual differences in the children’s rates of growth and development of skills are typical and to be expected. (Ackerman, Debra, Barnett & Robin, 2005). Task achievement here, means how the children will be able to respond to activities being given to them. This is for the reason that some children may be able to assimilate faster and better when taught individually, some in group while the others will be comfortable both ways. Children are very delicate; therefore it is important for us to know how best a child will learn. In every school, their main aim is to provide a conducive and comfortable learning environment for their pupils.       

When and if pupils are provided with a very comfortable and conducive environment it will enable them to perform better in their classroom task and activities. Children unlike adults need to be given much attention.

The primary school year is a critical year for all children, a  year of transition from preschool programmes or home to formal schooling. Most children arrive in primary school level because they are filled with curiosity, wonder, and an enthusiasm to learn about themselves, others, and the world. A teacher’s role and responsibility is to nourish this hunger for knowledge, and to motivate and challenge the students, as well as to protect and nurture them. (Ackerman, Debra, Barnett & Robin, 2005). At the primary school level, children are just taught the basic or the primary aspect of their subjects. For example, in mathematics, they are taught how to do the basic manipulation, addition, subtracting, division etc. Likewise in other subjects, they are taught the basic parts. Therefore, it is essential to develop or have a very good learning experience for such students in other for them to perform better at the later stage of their life.

The process of learning for children at this age is as important as performance. Children who see themselves as competent learners tackle challenges with confidence, and develop attitudes and depositions that encourage their curiosity and eagerness to learn. (Ackerman, Debra, Barnett & Robin, 2005). Children learn almost easily when the information is presented in context of familiar experiences. Some children respond better when they are on a one on one level with their teachers. Therefore, It is the job of the teacher to find out which best suits the child and then adjust his teaching styles and classroom activities to suit the learning need of each student.

Brain research also shows that learning is interconnected and cannot be isolated or compartmentalized into subject areas (Howard, 1994). Children learn from, thought-provoking experiences that challenge them to think and stimulate their brain’s growth and development such experiences cannot be assessed easily by conventional methods. In the same vein, Vygotsky’s (1978), reiterates the importance of teachers’ decisions in maximizing learning. He believes that, the teacher is most effective when teaching is directed towards a zone of proximal development for each child. Children learn best when learning experiences are within their zone of development. The teacher needs to assess a child’ development, probe the child’s thinking on the topic and provide learning experiences that will build a bridge, or “scaffold,” to higher level thought processes (Berk & Winsler, 1995). Standardized tests primarily provide a limited sample of what the student has already mastered. But by focusing only on what children already know, teachers cannot be as effective in helping them reach the next learning steps.

There are various reasons why learning experience influence task achievement. First, if the teacher does not know how the pupils he is teaching learns best, it will affect both the pupil and the teacher because the pupil will not perform well and the teacher will get frustrated. The way the pupil learns will adversely influence the pupil’s recall and memory. If the pupil is able to relate properly with the experience associated with the learning, he/she will not find it difficult to reproduce what he/she has been taught, whatever experience the teacher has to use must be related to the subject of context and at the same time, the experience must be such that the pupil will be able to relate with properly.

When students study in groups, they are motivated by extrinsic factors, thus, that they are motivated by other members of their group. Also competition within their group can make the individual perform better. For people who learn individually, one can also say that they are motivated by intrinsic factors. Some of these factors include curiosity (they can explore new interest facts without justifying it to a group), they are challenged by competition with oneself. (Always wanting to do better than they did before).

Lander (1995) points out that an obvious advantage of collaborative learning is that six groups are easier for a staff member to supervise than thirty individual students. Groups may be monitored for their progress through the use of worksheets or exercises which require an end product. Teachers can observe students working on assignments together and individually within their groups. When students work alone it is very difficult for the teacher to observe most of the students during a class. This is especially true in large classes. Quite the contrary, when students are working collaboratively on an assignment it is easy for the teacher to watch individual students perform. Teacher intervention is also possible when CL is the favored paradigm. Teachers mat raise questions, make observations, or suggestions based upon the group’s interactions and progress. With the lecture format there is little opportunity for these types of student teacher interaction and student-student interactions.

Slavin (1992) looks at the classroom perspective of cooperative learning  and points out that when students take responsibility for managing themselves in cooperative groups the teacher is freed up to attend to more essential tasks such as working with small groups or individual students. This is especially helpful in writing classes. By having students respond to each other’s writing and do peer editing the teacher does not have to evaluate several drafts from each students. The teacher can focus on helping students develop the criteria used to evaluate each other’s work, present the criteria to the students that the teacher wishers to met and work with individual students if necessary.

When students are working in pairs one partner verbalizes his/her answer while the other listens, asks questions or comments upon what he/she has heard. Clarification and explanation of one’s answer is a very important part of the collaborative process and represents a higher order thinking skill (Johnson, Johnson, Roy, Zaidman, 1985). Students who tutor each other must develop a clear idea of the concept they are presenting and orally communicate it to their partner (Neer, 1987). Tannenberg (1995) describes the benefit of developing oral skills which are discipline specific. “As in other disciplines, computer scientists use specialized language to economically and precisely communicate with one another. This involves not only mathematical symbols and programming languages, but, additional terms and special uses of natural language. A consequence of having students work together in small groups in that they seek with one another and directly engage in discipline specific language use. In trying to explain their ideas relating to the problems that they are solving, whether it be about graph, program, algorithm, or proof, they will of necessity acquire the terms that describe these objects.” Tannenberg (1995) also states that entering into the culture of our disciplines, they will be able to understand specialized publications and talk with more knowledgeable practitioners. That is, acquiring the language of the discipline open the portal to the vast store of knowledge within the discipline. We should therefore not minimize the value of having our students be able to talk with one another about their work in the disciplines that we teach. The social setting of collaborative learning provides this opportunity, and this is where it may be better that when students are interacting with one another rather than with experts, because they are less concerned about looking foolish, about being novices, about being not being fluent in the new language and discipline, about being tourist in this foreign land and how easy it is to chat with other tourists.

Sehunk and Hanson (1985) Students Often learn more by listening to their peers than they do by listening to an authority figure like a teacher (levin, Glass & Meister, 1984). Peers often have a better understanding of what other students dont know or causes them difficulty than the teacher does. The focus is on the students, not the teacher, in addition to shifting responsibility for learning onto students cooperate learning provides opportunity for students to demonstrates their knowledge by helping their peers (Bargg & Schul, 1980), an especially important advantage over the lecture method or class discussion form of teaching.

Bershon (1992) points out the role of speech in children’s development as identified by Vygotsky (1978). Vygotsky (1987) reports that children’s egocentrics speech not only accomplished the task but also played a specific role in task solution. In this regard, he explained that children’s speech and action were part of one and the same complex psychological function, directed toward the solution of the problem at hand. It is believed that the more complex the action demanded by the situation, and the less direct the solution, the greater the importance played by speech in the solution.”

When students work in groups and express themselves orally three benefits occur. First, the more advanced students demonstrate appropriate ways of approaching a problem, how they analyze content material and formulate arguments and justifications for their approaches. Through the process of questioning by peers these students becomes more aware of the thinking processes they are using. Second, instead of an individual thinking about a problem in small increments, in isolation, a group will often look a problem from a wider perspective and consider many more options as possible solutions and questioning the more advanced students. The novices in the group can participate in actually solving the problem and eventually learn how to solve problems without the help of their peers. Also LeGall (1992) points out that, “Through encouragement from the group to try new, more active approaches and through social support and social reward for even partially successful efforts, individual students in a group come to  think of themselves as capable of engaging in interpretation”.

A major function of collaboration learning is team building. This is accomplished through a variety of techniques used throughout the duration of the semester. During the first few weeks of a collaborative class, warm- up activities, getting to know class members’ names, and practice exercises help acclimate students to cooperative learning. As the semester progresses, group building exercise and group processing are important techniques for helping students understand how they are functioning in their groups and what they can do to improve. Regarding individual accountability, at the end of each content section an exam or paper or other assessment mechanism ids used to determine how well individual student have mastered the material (Slavin, 1983). Group projects or group test may be given in addition. Quizzes during the semester may also be given individually, thus maintaining a strong element of accountability by each group member. Numerous grading schemes exist which bring both elements together such as proving bonus points for group member when the group exceeds its previous group average on a test by a specified amount.

It is therefore on this premise that this study intends to examine the influence of individual versus group learning experiences on task achievement among primary school pupils.

1.2   Statement of the problem

Now in Nigeria, most primary school teachers or co-coordinators do not go the extra mile to find out how best the children will be able to learn better. The problem with most primary school today, is that they are unable to identify how the children learn faster. That is to say that they do not carry out tests to know if the children will perform faster and better when being taught individually or in a group. The children in the class are made up of different backgrounds, and the teachers do not take their time to understand these diverse families, communities and culture, and how it can aid the construction of their learning experiences. This has therefore added to the problem of how performance and mass failure In schools especially at the higher levels.

1.3   Purpose of the study

The study intends to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Determine the kind of learning experience that will enable the pupils to perform better in the classroom.
  2. Ascertain if children learn better when they are taught individually or in a group.
  3. Examine the effect of both individual and group learning experiences of children on their ability to do their task or class activities.
  4. Establish the relationship between learning experiences and task achievement.

1.4   Research Question

  1. What is the significant difference in the task achievement of pupils who were exposed to individual and group learning?
  2. What is the significant difference in the task achievement at male & female pupil who were exposed to group learning?
  3. What is the significant difference in the task achievements of male and female student who were exposed to individual learning?
  4. What is the significant difference in the task achievement of pupils from intact and single parent home who were exposed to individual and group learning?

1.5   Significant of the study

The findings of this study will help teachers to know how best they can improve on their teaching methods. It will also help teachers as they plan and provide diverse learning opportunities that will help their students develop a solid foundation for more advanced learning and also for life ahead of them. The result of this study will enable the quality of teaching programmes for primary school children.

The findings of this study will also be beneficial to school administrators and parents alike in knowing which learning condition is best suited for their children or ward.

1.6   Scope

This study will be focused mainly on Group and Individual achievements on task performance.

1.7   Assumptions

The experiment took place at AL-MISBAH KIDDIES SCHOOL ALAGBADO KOLLINGTON LAGOS STATE. The classroom of the primary six pupils was used specifically for the experiment. The first part of the experiment took place in the Primary Six Classrooms’ where they were taught. The second part of the experiment was held in the primary five & primary four classrooms where the test was administered.

1.8   Operational Definition of Terms

  1. Learning: This is the process of acquiring knowledge or information through education.
  2. Collaborative Learning: This is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together. In this study, collaborative learning include pupils who worked in groups of four (4).
  3. Individual Learning: This type of learning exists when the learning or achievement of one student is independent and separate from the achievement of the other students in the class.
  4. Task Achievement: It is referred to the performance in activities carried to fulfill a particular goal. In this study, achievement of tasks is a student who scores above 7 in the tests.
  5. Learning Experience: This refers to the process an individual goes through when learning.
  6. Student: This refers to an individual who student at a school. In this study, the students represent those between the age of 10 to 12.
  7. Group: This is the coming together of two or more people in other to achieve a common goal. In this study, there were two (2) with four pupils in each group.

1.9   Hypotheses

  1. There will be a significant difference in the task achievement of pupils who were exposed to individual and group learning.
  2. There will be a significant difference in task achievement of male and female pupils who were exposed to individual learning.
  3. There will be a significant difference in task achievement of male and female pupils who were exposed to group learning.
  4. There will be a significant difference in task achievement of pupils from intact and single parent home who were exposed to individual learning.
  5. There will be a significant difference in task achievement of pupils from intact and single parent home who were exposed to group learning.
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