This study focuses on the results of an intervention meant to explore the cross-aged peer mediation profiles (mediational styles) displayed by junior high school students. The main objectives of this study were to describe: (a) the mediational teaching styles of mediators in experimental and control groups, (b) the non-mediational behaviours of mediators in the experimental and control groups, (c) the mediational styles of learners in the experimental and control group cross-aged peer interactions and (d) the intervention's sustainability among older children over time. The sample was composed of 80 pupils, 40 from Grade 9 (mediators) and 40 from Grade 7 (learners). Each group pair of mediators and learners was randomly assigned to an experimental (n=21) or control (n=19) group. The pairs of mediators and learners were matched according to their cognitive levels (high, medium and low), based on their scores on the Raven matrices, with the mediator's cognitive level either the same, or no more than one level above the learner's cognitive level. Both the experimental and control groups participated in a general preparation for the learning task and peer-interaction. The experimental ninth-grade mediators received additional training for peer mediation by means of an intervention based on the theoretical approaches of Vygotsky and Feuerstein. The children's interactions were videotaped and assessed twice, immediately after the intervention and six months later; the Observation of Mediation Instrument was applied in both cases. The findings, which indicate the intervention's positive effect on children's mediational styles and its sustainability over time, are discussed within the contexts of Vygotsky's and Feuerstein's theories as well as practical implications for curriculum construction.
|Education and society
|Published - 2005