Group Work Lacks Positive Results

By Nermin Cekovic ‘16

Group work is failing. The group work that is done in school is not being done equally and honestly by students.

“I feel like they had the right idea,” said Roy Wagner ‘16. “It’s just not working the way they want it to.”

According to the New York Times article, “The Ride of New Group Think,” research shows that most of the time team members don’t even agree on what the team is supposed to be doing. Group work seems to be mostly one sided. One person will complete the assignment and the others will do nothing.

“There’s always that one person who doesn’t do their work,” said Jacob Zolotarevsky‘16.

Group work is a number of people coming together and sharing their knowledge to help complete the assigned task. Unfor- tunately, it’s not working this way. You have one person that completes the assignment and the others don’t even pay attention. They talk about sports or entertainment, things that aren’t even educational. Most people don’t even like to work with others. They would rather do the work by themselves. Susan Cain, a New York Times reporter, stated in one of her articles that research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom.

Group work should be helpful and more efficient, however because of the unequal work it is not. Certain group members don’t listen or pay attention and that disrupts the entire group, which leads to other conflicts. Students who do all the work get the same grade as the students who do no work.

In a group, one person will take on the entire task and complete the assignment without any help from the other group members. This has happened to me countless times in school with every subject. It happens almost every time when I am put into a group. It is usually in groups of fours; one person will do everything and the other three will talk about things that are off topic. Then at the end of the period everyone will copy that individual’s work.

That is the problem. The people in the group that work extremely hard to get the grade that they deserve and the oth- ers get the same grade for doing absolutely nothing. It is unfair and wrong to all group members. If you don’t do any work because the “smartest” group member is doing all the work, there is no reason that you should get the same grade. There is no point in doing group work if the work is not being done equally. It just lets the lazy kids get a good grade for doing nothing. This is why group work is failing. Teachers don’t always realize it but, it does occur. It has happened to me more than 15 times since the beginning of the year and it will continue to happen. It has been this way since I came to this school.

It is better to let everyone work separately. It’s a waste of time to put kids into groups and at the end nobody learns anything. Although group work doesn’t work most of the time, when done correctly it can help. Group work, done in the right way, is faster. But unfortunately, it is rarely done correctly and that is precisely why group work is faulty.

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