Examining classroom learning preferences among elementary school students

Constance M. Ellison, A. Wade Boykin, Kenneth M. Tyler, Monica L. Dillihunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to further determine the classroom learning preferences of elementary school students. A measure of cooperative, competitive and individualistic learning preferences (The Social Interdependence Scales, Johnson, & Norem-Hebeisen, 1979), was administered to 138 5th and 6th graders (66 African American and 72 White) attending a school in a low-income community. Results indicated that overall, participants preferred cooperative learning to competitive and individualistic learning. However, African American students reported significantly higher preferences for cooperative learning than did their White counterparts, while the reverse was true for individualistic and competitive learning. Implications and relevance for classroom practices are discussed. It is also argued that future research should include repeated testing of learning preferences and expansion of the work across a wide age range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-708
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Behavior and Personality
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2005


  • African American elementary school children
  • Classroom environments
  • Learning preferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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