What does current evidence suggest: doing group work in mixed/balanced gender groups or doing group work in single gender groups?
- College level mathematics/science course
- Group size approximately 3 or 4 (so for mixed gender groups there will often be a solo-male or solo-female; if there's research on which of these are better/more damaging I would also welcome that).
Looking at this review article from 1999 for example, there are competing theories of how gender balance affect performance in group work. There are some that advocate single-sex groups to minimize discrimination and conflict, or to maximize satisfaction and supportive behavior; there are some that suggest that majority-minority groups will lead to the minority members being ostracized; there are some that suggest precisely the opposite.
When planning group works for groups of sizes 3 or 4 college students in an introductory mathematics course, is it better to have
- all male, all female groups versus mixed groups;
- 1 male 2 female versus 2 male 1 female versus 2 male 2 female groups?
Please only answer with evidence-based research, and not theoretical speculation.