Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of working in a group.
A group is more than just a number of people. According to The Oxford Paperback English Dictionary it’s “ a number of people gathered, placed, or classed together for some purpose”. Group work; therefore consist establishing and maintaining a cohesive group, working to achieve common aim. Brown (1994 p.8) definition of group work, states that ” it provides a context in which individuals help each other; it is a method of helping groups as well as helping individuals; and it can enable individuals and groups to influence and change personal, group, organisational and community problems”. Importance of group work being recognized by colleges and universities, and incorporated into their learning programmes for various reasons. Some of them believe ,that group work offers support to their students-sharing the workload makes it easier. Some, through group activities aims to prepare students for the future professional life. Others feel that we are inter-dependent beings, and learn best through interaction, and discussion. But despite its benefits, group work can be one of the most stressful, and emotionally exhausting part of student’s life. According to Burns and Sinfield ” Many students see only problems associated with working in a group. Perhaps because they never get heard in the group, perhaps because they usually do all the work-whatever the problem, group work makes them unhappy” This essay will discuss advantages and disadvantages of a group work.
Firstly, the biggest advantage of collaborative work is sharing the workload. Task or project is much easier to complete if shared amongst participants, than if it had to be carried out by one person. Group is able to achieve something that each individual working alone might not be, and tackle wider spectrum, and greater difficulty of problems than the capabilities of an individual person. There is a saying, that ” many hands make light work.”...
References: Belbin, R.M. (1991) Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail. New edition:
Brown, A. (1994) Group work. 3rd Edition Great Yarmouth: Ashgate Publishing
Burns .T Sinfield. S (2003) Essential study skills the complete guide to success at university. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE
Oxford Dictionaries (2006) Paperback Oxford English Dictionary, 6 Editions: OUP Oxford
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