I’ve only been on twitter for a few days and already like the jewels of information that accidentally end up in my tweets. I found this article really interesting. It critiques the amount of collaboration in society.
I do believe that group work is important and necessary to develop important collaborative skills. However I think the over abundance of group work (especially in high school) is improperly approached. This article raises many fair points. I do consider myself a very social person, I wouldn’t say that I avoid social situations. However, when I need to work, or come up with something creative, I do need to be alone and often in silence. I can relate to the issue the article raises saying that people who work in groups make more mistakes, I get flustered when I am forced to come up with my ideas in group situations. If I am in a group situation, and we assign tasks or a question to consider, then come back and discuss our own interpretations or products, I can manage. But trying to do everything together is inefficient.
Perhaps more time needs to be given to teach students how to work in a group. In my experiences I remember many teachers assigning group work and assuming we would, and could, all work together. I never remember being trained (so to speak) with how to collaborate effectively. There may be some who believe the skills necessary for group work will just develop over time, which is probably true. But if students are graded on the work they do in a group-work situation and are only given a few weeks or so to do the work, and the skills to become fluent in the process of group work take years to establish, without a doubt there will be tension and frustration. Whereas if we as educators take more time with our students, at a young age, to help them work through being in a group and develop the social problem-solving skills of give and take, when they reach adult hood they will be more adept at working in a group.