Good practice for Managing Learning and Development in Groups
“In group work the aim is not simply the transmission of content (the content focus) but the need to work with that content (the process focus). Students use and develop two sets of overlapping skills.” Staff and Education Development Unit, LSHTM
It is important to encourage our students to learn in the groups.
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There are just some of the skills they can develop through the group work:
•Thinking aloud – putting thoughts into words
•Active learning – learning through action and reaction
•Defending your position – the power of debate
•Going deeper into the subject – creativity, originality and critical judgement
•Professional skills – learning how to work productively with others
•Learning how to learn – personal growth
To create current good practice for Managing Learning and Development in Groups , the first we need to understand the principles and practices of managing learning and development in groups: •strategies to manage group behavior and dynamics;
•techniques which facilitate the delivery of learning and development in groups;
•characteristics of group environments that foster learning and development,
•risks to consider when managing learning and development in groups;
•ways to involve learners in the management of their own learning and development in groups •barriers to management of individual learning in groups
Then we need to create environments that are suitable for group learning and development. To do that, we need to consult with group members to adapt their learning and development environments to improve their learning outcomes. We need to use deferent motivational methods to engage the group and its individual members in the learning and development process. We need to facilitate communication, collaboration and learning between group members. We need manage the risks associated with group learning and development.
We also need to use different methods and techniques to manage learning and development in groups: e.g.: Involve learners in agreeing group learning objectives; adapt and implement delivery methods, use activities and resources to meet the learning and development objectives of the group; manage group learning strategies and delivery methods to reflect changing requirements; provide individual advice to learners to assist their decision-making about future learning needs.
We need minimize risks to safety, health, wellbeing and security of learners and comply with legal and organizational requirements: Support learners’ rights in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion, manage confidentiality in relation to learners and the organization, and maintain learning and development records in accordance with organizational procedures.
But where are always some barriers we will face while teaching in the groups. These are some of the things my students say they dislike while learning in group: •A small group can easily be dominated by one person.
Finding a way to channel student misbehaviour into something productive is your first line of attack. Students who misbehave have talents that school does little to bring out. Students who are ringleaders have leadership qualities that we’d be wise to nurture. We want them to use their talents for good instead of bad so we need to give them that opportunity. Sitting and being quiet is not appealing to a leader. E.g.: Then I’m presenting a slide show, every five minutes or so we’d need it to be quiet so that groups of students could hear me and the slideshow.
I had one student who I knew was going to have a hard time being quiet. So I made him the engineer. He was the one who pushed the button to start the recording and pressing the next slide show. It was totally quiet in my room. Instead of allowing B.H. to be the guy who ruined our class projects by yapping, he became our trusted engineer. He felt good about it and the class appreciated him for it. Sometimes if students have a problem with talking in the classroom, you might arrange your seats in groups rather than isolated tables so that learning can be more social and project based. •When members of the group wonders around the classroom.
Teachers who have students who have trouble wandering around the room might make those kids the paper or door monitors so they have a reason to wander and wander with a purpose that’s productive for the classroom. •Students who say “ I don’t care”
Some students say they don’t care about missing out. I found it it is usually because they really do care. If it doesn’t bother students to miss out on your activities then your activities aren’t interesting for them, but because they are in my lesson because they chose to be that is usually not true. I try not to send students out of the room for misbehaving. A student often misbehaves because he’s bored…he then misbehaves…you send him away. Student got what he wanted. I try not to reward bad behaviour in this way. It diminishes your own power and gives another incentive to misbehave.
As I stated earlier, I believe a good Classroom Management is the key to an environment where learning can take place and students can feel safe participating. I hope to create an environment that is conducive to learning and involves all my students. I believe the most important part of classroom management is not the behaviour problems but creating a good rapport with the students, encouraging them to succeed and setting high expectations for them. As well as using an engaging a curriculum, I believe you can create this environment and it will limit the behaviour problems in your classroom from the start.