Educational Psychology21 May 2008 Correlation between Research and Work of Psychologists The influence of achievement goals on the constructive activity of low achievers during collaborative problem solving (Gabriele, 2007) Many a times teachers tag low achievers with high achieving students, in the hope of boosting their performance. The many objectives behind such heterogeneous clubbing is to enhance a low achieving students academic and social potential. However, the research carried out till now indicates that not all learners benefit from the opportunity to work with their bright peers. Research has strongly established that high achieving group members who extend help to their low achieving mates mostly reap positive outcome from such an effort.
However, in such a group effort, the low achieving group members do not necessarily learn much from such an experience. One of the purposes of the paper under consideration is to understand how low achievers learn from peer help and thus to augment the positive outcome of such activities. Though a number of factors influence the cognitive achievement of a low achieving student while collaborating with a high achiever, still the two important variables that have attracted the attention of researchers till now are the quality of help that is received by the learner, and the extent to which the learner cognitively processes the help after receiving it.
It has been found that high achieving; older students are more likely to alleviate the academic and social potential of a slow achiever as compared to younger average achieving students. This is because the high achieving students use a variety of aiding strategies and offer more conceptually oriented strategies then average achieving students who paired with a low achiever.
The second important factor is that how a low achiever deals with the help extended by a high achiever? Weble and Fariver suggest that a slow achiever must engage in constructive activity after receiving an explanation from a high achiever in order for learning to occur (Gabriele, 2007). Constructive activity stands for a range of behavioural as well as internal cognitive activities that a learner engages in. Such activities include self-explanation, elaboration, and summarization, answering and asking questions, explaining to another, drawing diagrams or concept maps.
Another purpose of this study is to understand the impact of two achievement goals i. e. is learning and performance goals on the learning potential of a student tagged with a high achiever. Students who affiliate to learning goals intend to understand their work so as to improve their performance and use self-reference standards rather then social comparison to evaluate themselves. On the contrary, students who adhere to performance goals, study with the objective of demonstrating an ability or hiding a lack of an ability.
The main purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to examine the importance of constructive activity in determining the ability to learn of a slow achiever after receiving help from of a high achieving peer and (2) to explore other factors that influence a low achieving students engagement in constructive activity. This research intended to establish the extent to which the achievement goals influence the cognitive ability of a slow achiever in a collaborative environment.