Restructuring heterogeneous classes for cognitive development: Social interactive perspective

Rachel Ben-Ari, Peri Kedem-Friedrich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


An educational application derived from the social constructivism view based largely on the theories of Vygotsky (1962, 1978) and Piaget (1926), was tried in order to improve cognitive development of children studying in a heterogeneous class. A path analysis based on the study of 1017 pupils, 8- to 11-year-olds, studying in 36 classrooms, shows that complex learning techniques are related to cognitive development, especially of lower level children. The process requires that the teacher take a "developer" role encouraging the students to interact verbally in order to solve the learning tasks. The improvement seems to be based entirely on the students' on-task verbal interaction, but that was instigated by the developer teacher's role and impeded by supervisory role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalInstructional Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cognitive development
  • Complex instruction
  • Heterogeneous class
  • On-task social interaction


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