Group Work: How to Navigate the Warzone

In our discussion today we talked about what sorts of literacies we didn’t like in the classroom. I believe it was Matt who raised his hand and said “group work”. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself because it brought to mind this pie chart about group work that I saw on Pinterest. Take a look….

What’s so funny about the second pie chart is that it is so TRUE. I can remember being that kid in groups who ended up doing everything because I didn’t trust anyone else to do it. I’d done my time in group projects. I knew how they worked. Tyler would inevitably loose an important paper. Sarah wouldn’t show up and my grade would suffer because of it. So now as we embark on our journey into the depths of education my question is, how do we make group work effective?

I think we can all agree that learning to work with other people is an important skill to have. Once you’re out of school and working, being able to collaborate with your coworkers is something that will make or break your career (unless you’re a super computer genius who has poor social skills). As teachers it is our job to prepare students for life after school and what better way to do it than to have them work with others on projects? How do we hold everyone in the group accountable?

I know that I’ve had teachers who, at the end of a project, ask every group member about who did what. However, you will have those students who will be unwilling to “rat out” the kids who didn’t work and would rather let their grade suffer than appear like a tattle tale to their peers. Maybe there is no for sure solution that will help out everyone, but how could we tweak the concept of group work to be something that is helpful to all students?

(I ask a lot of questions in my blog posts. I realize this.)

Comments much appreciated,

Anna B.

About spiffybanana24

I'm just an English Education student learning to take things one day at a time.

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