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Students on Group Work
“She asked for their top 10 reasons why students don’t want to work in groups and they offered this list...
- It’s hard to focus during small group exercises.
- We are always rushed.
- Group exercises mean we do the work and the teacher doesn’t.
- We’re trying to work on material we didn’t understand in the reading.
- If we want to work in groups, we can form them on our own; in class we would rather hear someone who understands the material explain it.
- We’re all confused; getting in a group merely compounds the confusion.
- I don’t like the people in my group.
- Group members don’t show up or don’t contribute.
- We’d get through more material if you lectured.
- I can’t sleep during small group exercises.
'Some of these reasons are exactly why I use small group work in class.' Group work engages students and forces them to work with the material.
It’s also true that working in groups is harder than doing it on your own.
Groups have to cooperate, communicate, delegate and depend on each other.
But for most tasks, groups can do more and do it better than individuals.
Taylor, [associate professor of chemistry at Wabash College], says she uses groups over student objections because they work.
‘By the end of the semester, there are improvements in their performance, teamwork and ability to solve problems. And this is what education is about: students’ growth and learning. Our role as educators is not as a performer or entertainer, but as a facilitator who guides students through the challenges of the learning process, whether they like it or not.’”