Being able to work in a team is prized–but is this a good way for students to function when receiving their education?
Imagine a group of athletes from different sport that all have a general idea about playing positions in the other sports. However, they have little to no idea how their skills stack up against other in their group, whom they barely know. They have never played together, and they are told “You are now a team; you decide who plays what position. This week we will play baseball, next week we’ll mix up the teams and play football.” Most class group assignments are actually based on this model. Much of the work required is deciding how to organize the team before anyone actually gets anything done.
Encouraging students to work as teams in class has many shades of difference from getting a group of athletes to work as a team. Sports teams are formed to wage athletic “war” and win against other teams. In classes the goal is to create…
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