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Long-term consequences of group work in Japanese public elementary schools

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Abstract

Using original web survey data, this study investigates the long-term consequences of the experience of group work, which is a common teaching practice. We examined the convention in the context of Japanese public elementary schools, which are considered to be less susceptible to self-selection bias, in order to improve on the research conditions of previous studies. The regression results show that the experience of group work is negatively associated with annual income and financial assets. Furthermore, we find that the experience of group work does not relate to well-being and whole life satisfaction and that those who experienced group work attach higher satisfaction to human relationships and less satisfaction to household economic status. From the insignificant association between group work and well-being/whole life satisfaction, it may be interpreted that the positive association with satisfaction related to human relationships offsets the negative association with satisfaction regarding one's present economic status. We also show that experience of group work is negatively associated with cognitive skills but is positively associated with altruistic and positive reciprocal behavior.

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