learning in groups

How can we expose more people to critical thinking?
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Post by Denise »

Another problem with working in groups- a child who is shy will not be as likely to participate fully. But, since society lately seems to love the extrovert, it is often seen as a good thing to force the introverted child to stand up for themselves. Unfortunately, these group activities often start at an age where children are least likely to stand up for their individuality- the young teens. So the shy child ends up sitting back and not learning much of anything, other than how to get through another hour.

Teams are important. Many great advances in our knowledge have come forth from a team of people rather than an individual. However, at least it seems to me, most of these team members have done much of their learning on an individual basis before becoming a member of a team. A pro basketball player has spent many an hour shooting hoops alone before shooting hoops with his team.

I always hated working in groups when I was in school. I don't mind it much now, and sometimes even like it. But then I'm not an adolescent any more. I hope that makes sense.

On a side note... the schools seem to be emulating corporate America, who in turn seems to be emulating Japan and other Eastern cultures. They do a lot of teamwork, low value of individualism etc. Shame really. There is room for both.

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Post by Nigel »

Room for both is one comment I truly agree with. I can see the group learning also trying to underplay the recent pro athletes message of 'look at me'. When a football player makes a touchdown and grabs a cell phone, making a call? Or pulls a sharpie out of his sock? That's pathetic.

When an individual scores a touchdown, the team scores points. Life is a collaborative effort. Perhaps the emphasis should be on interdependence rather than either complete independence or being dependent on a group.
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