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Working in Groups and Teams paper

If structured well, group projects can promote important intellectual and social skills and help to prepare students for a work world in which teamwork and collaboration are increasingly the norm. This section provides advice for faculty employing group projects. We examine the following questions:

When people work in groups, there are two quite separate issues involved.

orking in a group can be enjoyable or frustrating--sometimes both. The best way to ensure a good working experience in groups is to think hard about whether a project is best done in a group, and, if so, to have a clear set of expectations about group work.

Brown, Alan (1992) Groupwork. London: Heinemann.

I will evaluate my self-awareness while working in the group, as well as those around me.

However, as Allan Brown (1992: 8) and others have pointed out, many group workers look beyond helping the individual with a problem. Group work can emphasize ‘action and influence as well as reaction and adaption’ (). Thus, Allan Brown argues:

… group work provides a context in which ; it is a method of helping groups as well as helping individuals; and it can enable individuals and groups to and personal, group, organizational and community problems. (Brown 1992: 8. Emphasis in the original)

Butler, S. and Wintram, C. (1991) Feminist Groupwork. London: Sage.

Unfortunately, due to my personal experiences, I find group work to be tedious.

In this article our focus is different. We explore the process of groups both so that they may undertake particular tasks and become environments where people can share in a common life, form beneficial and help each other. Entering or forming them, and then working with them so that members are able be around each other, take responsibility and work together on shared tasks, involves some very sophisticated abilities on the part of practitioners. These abilities are often not recognized for what they are – for when group work is done well it can seem natural. Skilled group workers, like skilled counsellors, have to be able to draw upon an extensive repertoire of understandings, experiences and skills and be able to think on their feet. They have to respond both quickly and sensitively to what is emerging in the exchanges and relationships in the groups they are working with.

Our starting point for this is a brief exploration of the nature of groups. We then turn to the process of working with. We also try to define group work – and discuss some of foci that workers need to attend to. We finish with an overview of the development of group work as a focus for theory-making and exploration.

: Have students discuss Amy Tan's essay in small groups, using these discussion questions.
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He argued that these phases are all necessary and inevitable for the team growth, overcoming challenges and tackling problems, finding solutions, planning work and delivering results.

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On one side of the coin working with others in a group can be engaging, fun, exciting, and a little easier when it comes to the work load individually.

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Observe students for their participation during the exploration and discussion of Tan’s essay and their own language use. In class discussions and conferences, watch for evidence that students are able to describe specific details about their language use. Monitor students’ progress and process as they work on their lilteracy narratives. For formal assessment, use the . Ask students to complete the to reflect on their exploration of language and their literacy narratives.

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How to cite this article: Smith, Mark K. (2008) ‘What is group work?’, the encyclopaedia of informal education. . Retrieved: .].

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This new paradigm of working collectively under the factory system had no contemporary parallel – except for the working conditions of slaves who also labored in large groups.

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Bennett and Dunne (1992), and Galton and Williamson explain that cooperative group work occurs when students divide the work load in a group and each individual completes a different part of the assignment....

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