When I was in high school, and one of my teachers would ask us to form groups in order to do something, I would usually roll my eyes. Ironically enough, some of the best work that I put forth and learned from was done in a group work setting. By working with my peers towards a common end, I got things done much quicker and thorough than I ever did on my own.
I chose to research group work for this essay, because in my limited experience as a teacher, youth worker, and student, group work proves to be a most effective teaching method; when it is done successfully. To begin, I came up with four questions to ask myself in researching this project:
Why is implementing group work such a useful teaching method?
How does it best foster critical literacy?
How can it work to begin to dissolve the traditional labels of student stereotypes?
How does group work best benefit the inclusion path: incorporating both gifted and special needs students?
I have only been able to better understand the answers to these questions in the light of my limited experience, student talk, and professional writings. I do plan on being able to establish more of a concrete application of my philosophy within this short intern experience.
My philosophy of group work reflects my philosophy on classroom culture. I see the best classroom environment as one that is non-hostile towards the student; doing whatever it can to clarify and to understand their ideas and problems. In a setting such as this, the student will develop a certain autonomy in discovering their own learning styles, as well as in evaluating their own work. ìStudents who are authors in the English classroom are more than the writer of...
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...esponse to Literature.î English Journal. 84:6 (October).
Christensen, Linda. 1994. ìBuilding Community from Choas.î Rethinking Our Classrooms. Rethinking Schools, Ltd.;Milwaukee, 1994.
Evans, Karen S. 1996. ìTheRole of Positioning in Peer ñLed Literature Discussions. Language Arts. 73:3. (March).
Hillebrand, Ramana P. 1994. ìContol and Cohesion: Collaborative Learning and Writing. English Journal. 84:1. (January)
Knudson, Ruth E. 1995. ìA study of Teachers, Tracking, and Grouping: An Examination ofPactice.î English Journal. 84:1 (January)
Kutz, Eeanor and Hephzibah Roskelly. An Unquiet Pedagogy. Boyton/Cook Publishes; NH, 1991.
Levin, James and James Nolan. Principles of Classroom Management. Allyn and Bacon; 1996.
Mayher, John S. Uncommon Sense. Boyton/Cook Publishers; NH, 1990.
Steinberg, Laurence. Adolescence. McGraw Hill, INC.: NY, 1996.
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