> It seemed most people in the group were so unmotivated and to
> avoid getting a bad grade, one had to do all the work oneself. The
> alternative was trying to badger the other group members into taking
> responsibility and actually doing some work. I think it is unfair to ask
> kids to be responsible for motivating other children. Perhaps this
> approach to learning is better applied at later educational stages, e.g.
> at the undergraduate or graduate level, where the average student
> motivation is higher.
>I do understand and agree with the comments above -- to a certain extent. I was
often in the same position, as the one solely responsible for the lion's share
of the work. Nonetheless, I think that this valuable skill and social training
is imperative...early. I think that the key is not to drop group work
altogether, but instead to design projects in such a way that individuals are
still accountable for definable portions of the work, and that success be
measured both individually and for the group as a whole. Granted, I do not say
this lightly. I know from my own teaching experiences that this is VERY
difficult to design into the project. Nonetheless, I still think that even a
less-than-perfectly (though not poorly) designed group project is more valuable
than no group experience at all.
Jane Dorweiler ** Regardless of what they say about the
Department of Plant Biology ** cat, curiosity is a good thing. It's
University of Minnesota ** what makes each and every one of us
dorwe001 at maroon.tc.umn.edu ** a scientist!!