The classroom does not have to be a solo adventure just for studying. It can be a learning environment for collaboration. The exercises for group work implemented on the school grounds are very beneficial for each child individually. Additionally, they improve the atmosphere in the class room.
On personal level, every child could benefit from working in a group where they develop a sense of belonging, build confidence and a sense of security, communication and leadership skills.
A numerous research has shown that team work improves critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills.
While working in a group, children are involved not only intellectually but emotionally as well. They work together in the group, think together, exchange ideas and information, they give support to each other and do presentations together. Children develop social awareness, they appreciate the diversity and similarities between the individuals in the group and develop self-awareness such as discovering their interests, weaknesses and abilities.
Group work in the classroom is becoming quite popular in the last few years, as well as other elements in the educational process, working in groups functions when it is planned and systemized. Simply having four or five children together does not imply that a group dynamic is present. That is why, the most important part is the plan for group work and what kind of groups will be applied
There are two types of groups that are used in the classroom when students are encouraged to work together.
First one are heterogeneous groups, where students are grouped by their different level of abilities.
The key word is “different”, the diversity can spread into many segments such as age background, race ect,
The second type are homogeneous groups where students are gathered based on some sort of similarity, for example same performances in one specific department.
There is a large number of methods for learning that can be implemented in group work.
The choice can be lead by the desired results, Let’s review some of them:
ice breakers is a exercise were the target is to “break the ice”
swat analysis is a exercise where we use our weakness, advantages, treats and strengths to provide ideas for a specific area orquestion/issue
brainstorming is a exercise which secures ideas and suggestions in order to generate propositions and options
Fish bowling is an exercise where one team/group works on an idea, while the another team/group is observing.
Role play is a exercise where a particular situation is acted out.
Strategy exercises are exercises where the discovery of one solution comes from group process.
After all the best method for encouraging the inner resources of the children is when the individual and group method are in balance and lead to actualization of the desired qualities of the child.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. – Helen Keller More
@ Author Copyright – Children’s Academy “Brainobrain Europe”