1 IPSS – COMOSSELA, Oliveira de Azeméis (PORTUGAL)
2 Escola Superior de Educação, CI&DETS-CI&DEI, Instituto Politécnico de Viseu (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 645-654
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.0261
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Group work is a methodology which allows for the student to learn in interaction with his/her peers, through active involvement and participation in the teaching-learning process. However, it is not a practice accepted by all teachers, as it implies a pedagogical organization that contrasts in many ways to the traditional teaching model. In addition, there are disagreements about at which age it should be implemented, as well as about the benefits it can provide to students.

Thus, we sought to ascertain the perspectives of teachers and students regarding the group work methodology and its use in the different subject areas of primary education. As main research objectives, we tried to understand the importance given to this methodology, in which subjects this methodology is most often implemented and which of them do the students prefer to develop group work in, as well as the teachers' training within this area.

A questionnaire was applied to a sample of 42 primary teachers and their 4th grade students (218 students), from three Viseu School Groupings (centre region of Portugal). The choice fell upon this year of school attendance due to the fact that students had already had the opportunity to develop group work in previous years, thus being able to reflect on their practice.

The data obtained showed that group work is considered very important, both by teachers and students, although the number of times it is implemented varies widely. Environmental Studies, Physical Education, and Dramatic Expression were the subject areas in which teachers most often claimed to use this methodology. It should also be noted that more than half of the teachers acknowledged that they had no training in the field of group work.

The conclusions of this study indicate that a more frequent use of this methodology in primary education is beneficial, and highlights the need to invest in teacher training, namely with regard to the organization and development of group work in the classroom, to improve pedagogical action.
Group work, Subject areas, Primary education, Teachers, Students.