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PhD Defence Jasperina Brouwer

posted 13 Apr 2017, 01:21 by ICO Education   [ updated 13 Apr 2017, 01:21 ]
On Monday May 22, at 11:00 hours exactly, Jasperina Brouwer (University of Groningen) will defend her PhD thesis entitled Connecting, interacting and supporting. Social capital, peer network and cognitive perspectives on small group teaching. All ICO Members are cordially invited to be present at the PhD graduation ceremony at in the Aula of the Academy Building, University of Groningen (Broerstraat 5 in Groningen).

Jasperina Brouwer studied educational sciences and psychology and completed her research masters’ degrees in these fields at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. She is a member of the Interuniversity Center for Educational Sciences (ICO). She conducted her research as a PhD student at the Teacher Education department, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Groningen.

Small group teaching seems effective when the interactions with peers and faculty facilitate students’ ability to achieve their social or academic goals. Peer relationships represent an important form of social capital that can help students achieve better results. However, the extent to which students build their own social capital may depend on their cognitions or beliefs, as well as their prior achievement.

This thesis therefore investigates how students’ cognitions and prior achievement relate to students’ social capital and peer networks in small group teaching, along with the effects on study success. This study of small group teaching features three different settings: learning communities, mentor groups, and seminars. With a longitudinal, empirical design, the analyses of survey data and complete social network data from the Netherlands and Germany reveal some insights into mechanisms of small group teaching.

In particular, the research finds that interactions with peers and faculty contribute to self-efficacy and thereby to study success. Not all students may benefit equally from the option for building social capital in small group teaching though. For example, achievement segregation emerges in peer networks; high achievers seem to benefit the most. When students believe that their intellectual abilities can change, they are more popular in academic support networks. This outcome also occurs when students are highly self-efficacious and perceive themselves as more popular.

For more information contact jasperina.brouwer@rug.nl