Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Power and Relational Equity in Group Work: A Case Study from a Middle School Math Classroom

Sung, Hannah (2018) Power and Relational Equity in Group Work: A Case Study from a Middle School Math Classroom. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (1MB) | Preview


The aim of this descriptive case study is to identify and illustrate social processes, such as power dynamics based on the exchange and distribution of information, that affect student participation within groups. Collaborative group work continues to be extremely challenging for students (Barron, 2003; Borge & White, 2016; González & DeJarnette, 2015; Hofmann & Mercer, 2016). One source of challenge is the uncertainty that arises from trying to solve a new problem while simultaneously coordinating with others in the group. By analyzing interactional patterns during moments of uncertainty, I illustrate that power is related to who participates in group work and the ways in which students participate. Asymmetrical power dynamics can shape the interactional landscape in ways that limit opportunities for some students to participate. Balanced power dynamics, on the other hand, may promote relationally equitable participation. In addition, I show that students’ perceived mathematical ability in problem-solving did not help to explain their level or form of participation in group work. The findings highlight the importance of the interactional context in collaborative group work. In the discussion, I present the implications for teacher support of group work interactions.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sung, Hannahhcs16@pitt.eduhcs16
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWallace,
Committee MemberMunter,
Committee MemberNokes-Malach,
Committee MemberForman,
Date: 27 June 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 9 February 2018
Approval Date: 27 June 2018
Submission Date: 22 March 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 119
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Psychology in Education
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: middle school; math classroom; group work; collaborative; power dynamics; student interactions; relational equity
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2018 13:37
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2018 13:37


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item