M1394 - DALGLISH TEXT.qxd 15/7/08 15:23 Page 95 Gary Graham:GRAHAM'S IMAC JOBS: GRAYUMS G4 9. Working in groups 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...
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