Academic performance, prejudice, and the Jigsaw classroom

New pieces to the puzzle

Iain Walker, Mary Crogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)


This field study investigated the effects of a cooperative learning environment and a Jigsaw classroom environment on academic performance, self-esteem, liking of school, liking of peers, and racial prejudice. The subjects were 103 children in Grades 4-6, in two separate schools. The cooperative learning condition was used as a baseline measure of the effects of cooperation, against which the effects of a Jigsaw method, involving both cooperation and interdependence, were compared. The results reveal that Jigsaw produced significant improvements on measures of academic performance, liking of peers, and racial prejudice. In contrast, the effect of the cooperative condition was to exacerbate pre-existing intergroup tensions. The present findings demonstrate that the Jigsaw method can be applied successfully in Australian conditions, and lend support to Allport's contact hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-393
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes


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