We are social beings that live and work in community. Working as a team and in collaboration is a task that we should learn from young people. There are numerous benefits that it brings, not only in the student stage, but in the future, many of the skills acquired in the classroom, thanks to working in groups, will help us to develop more adequately and safely in our environment.
Benefits of working in a team in the classroom
Teachers should encourage team work in the classes because it provides numerous benefits and advantages for the students. Interaction among students activates mental processes such as comprehension, critical thinking, reasoning, etc. Collaborating and working as a team brings the following advantages. Generates positive relationships: the feeling of proposing teamwork projects is that everyone depends on everyone with the same objective in common. The students support each other. It favors the responsibility and the commitment with the others.
Improves social and interpersonal relationships: it is a skill that, thanks to teamwork, they acquire at an early age and that, without a doubt, will serve them in the future. Knowing how to put yourself in the other's place, what is known as being empathetic, helps to know and better understand people and thus have more capacity to solve situations. Group work is one of the best mechanisms to promote diversity among different people. The most capable help the least, thus enhancing values such as respect, effort and commitment.
At this point and according to the connectivity theory (a theory that relates new technologies to learning) learning is largely a social activity. Not only is learning by receiving information, but also when you use what you know (exploring, negotiating, and interpreting with other colleagues).
It encourages 'learning to learn': learning from what other colleagues know is one of the greatest benefits of working in a group. They build their own knowledge through interaction with their peers, process the information together and have to come up with a unique solution, but in the process of this work they acquire great knowledge. The performance of roles in the group is also encouraged.
It increases the self-esteem of the students, their motivation and interest: creating group tasks in the classroom, also makes the student autonomous and responsible. The student will be responsible for their successes and failures and therefore, more independent of their decisions.
These are just some of the advantages acquired if teachers encourage collaborative work in the classroom. In addition, this working model encourages the use of new technologies. In fact, ICT is a good tool and another way to work as a team with students from other levels or from other groups.
Some guidelines to take into account and tasks to develop certain skills
As we have pointed out before, ICT is an adequate means to encourage team work in the classroom. There are also other tasks that teachers can propose to encourage collaborative projects in the classes.
Before mentioning some activities that work the team dynamics, it should be noted that educators should take into account some guidelines regarding the groups that form or the attitude that the same teacher should take:
- The groups must be balanced and the students must be of different visions, levels and ways of working. In this way, some learn from others that is one of the objectives of working as a team.
- You have to establish some rules of communication. The teacher must give guidelines and rules to the members of the group, thus avoiding conflicts and discussions. The educator has to act as a conductor and observer, establishing the objectives of the project and the development of the work.
- The class distribution of equipment is important. There has to be a comfortable organization and the material and tools to be used in all the groups must be shared equitably.
As can be seen in the website called Cheap Assignment Help UK, teamwork is one of the tools we consider important in the education of our children. The values and skills that can be developed with this model of work are numerous.