The enquiry originated from observations of a series of learning events which
appeared to generate high levels of pupil endeavour. These events were
typified by being residential, employing commercial simulation, teamwork and
a suspended timetable which allowed long periods of concentrated work on a
Observations provided the Impetus for an enquiry Intended to illuminate the
learning approach and the origins of this increased endeavour. This enquiry
employed a series of case studies with a parallel literature survey.
The pre-enquiry learning events are described and an impression of the factors
Involved established. The evolving nature of the enquiry Is explained. A
literature survey is made of the key factors. The methods employed, Including
their limits and limitations, are described. The case studies are summarised
and discussed In relation to the literature survey. Conclusions are drawn and
suggestions for further research are made.
The key findings are that the enquiry indicates high levels of endeavour are
replicable, given understanding of the factors involved. Pupils' perceptions of
the relevance of the events is high. Pupils tend not to adopt a competitive
approach on an inter- team basis but do respond to deadlines. Pupils tend to
develop cooperative management structures rather than establish leaders
which are not seen as relevant. Endeavour Is maximised in teams which are
selected to be heterogeneous In terms of gender, friendship groupings, subject
expertise and ability. Positive synergy Is Identified In terms of endeavour but
not the range and quality of design ideas. Teachers, whilst recognising the
value of granting autonomy to teams, find it difficult to release control and
Intervene only when necessary.
The contributions to knowledge lie in the areas of designing In teams under
competitive pressure; pupil team reaction to competition and the response of
staff to working In these learning contexts
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.