When I was going through my schooling, I used to love working with my mates in groups. I found that bouncing ideas off someone else was enjoyable and often we created a better product in the end. When I went to University, I found it a little more difficult. The pressure of getting the highest grade possible and working with people I didn’t know well, meant that I often judged other members of my group because they weren’t “thinking the same way I was”!
There was lots of stress because I didn’t necessarily trust other’s opinions and often they didn’t work the way I thought we should.
When collaborating, a learner will seek to:
- Work productively with others
- Balance listening and speaking, leading and following in a group
- Demonstrate flexibility and compromise
- Respect the ideas of others
- Recognise and use the strengths of others
- Encourage shared leadership
- Be wary of “group think”
- Assume shared responsibility for completing work
- Identify areas of agreement and disagreement, and
- Participate respectfully in frank discussion and debate
Increasingly, the work environment is relying more and more on collaboration between different groups of people, often from different companies or work environments.
Developing collaboration skills now, allows students to be “good” team members who learn to be flexible and who value as well as respect the strengths of others. It enables students to develop their skills in leadership and group responsibility and this will provide the landscape for a richer learning experience.
Middle School Learning Leader