Learning in friendship groups:developing students’ conceptual understanding through social interaction


The role that student friendship groups play in learning was investigated here. Employing a critical realist design, two focus groups on undergraduates were conducted to explore their experience of studying. Data from the "case-by-case" analysis suggested student-to-student friendships produced social contexts which facilitated conceptual understanding through discussion, explanation, and application to "real life" contemporary issues. However, the students did not conceive this as a learning experience or suggest the function of their friendships involved learning. These data therefore challenge the perspective that student groups in higher education are formed and regulated for the primary function of learning. Given these findings, further research is needed to assess the role student friendships play in developing disciplinary conceptual understanding.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01031
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
Additional Information: Copyright © 2014 Senior and Howard. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Uncontrolled Keywords: friendships,collaborative learning,student understanding,study groups
Publication ISSN: 1664-1078
Full Text Link: http://journal. ... 2014.01031/full
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PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2014-09-14
Authors: Senior, Carl (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2155-4139)
Howard, Chris



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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