Keogh, Teresa; Barnes, Peter; Joiner, Richard and Littleton, Karen
Gender, pair composition and computer versus paper presentations of an english language task.
Educational Psychology, 20(1) pp. 33–44.
The aim of the study was to compare the verbal and physical interactions of same-gender pairs and mixed-gender pairs when equivalent tasks were presented on a computer and on paper. Children aged between 13 and 14 years old (24 boys and 24 girls) were placed into either same-gender or mixed-gender pairs and worked on a computer presentation and a paper presentation of an English language task. The main finding of the study was that the children's verbal interactions and manipulation of the physical materials were mediated by the mode of presentation. There were no significant differences between mixed-gender pairs and same-gender pairs in the paper presentation of the task. However, in the mixed-gender computer-based pairs, boys dominated both the amount and type of verbal interaction and the control of the mouse. These findings are explained in terms of gender differences in perceived expertise with computers and theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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