Being forced into group work at University taught me so much about why I never want to work in groups again. (Anonymous student, 2003) INTRODUCTION The argument often used in universities is that having students learn to work in groups reﬂects the real world of everyday life in business. However, does it? Is group work and working in teams in a university environment the same as working in teams in the workplace? Research has long indicated that group interaction is a good way for students to learn (Nastasi and Clemens 1991; Slavin 1991; Johnson 1998). Barber (2003), in discussing non-English-speaking students, comments on how teamwork is essential for understanding and emotional comfort. She identiﬁes how teamwork helps students avoid embarrassment and provides an opportunity to ask questions in a conducive environment which helps them internalize the topic and relate it to their own situation at home. From a historical perspective, group work in universities was seen to be an extension of lecturing as a means of imparting knowledge. Many of the aims of group work were to enhance the lecture process. This led to the view that group work only existed to support the proper business of teaching, which was the formal lecture. Stenhouse (1972) and Bligh (1986) promulgated the view that the purpose of group activity was to teach students to think and to engage with their own and others’ learning through the articulation of views. Group work can be seen as an ‘exciting, challenging and dynamic...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.