Group work is important for helping students learn how to resolve disputes, and it gives them an insight into the real working world. Benefits to the teacher include being able to assign complex assignments, which are easier to complete when several students are working on them.
Group work is a useful way to reinforce certain skills among students, including:
- Managing their time and making plans
- Negotiating with others and resolving disputes
- Approaching difficult tasks by breaking them down into smaller steps
- Communicating with others and challenging their ideas
- Appointing roles and learning from others' perspectives
- Learning how to use support from their peers to take risks and try new things
- Finding ways to be held accountable when working as part of a broader group
- Working independently and having confidence in their own ideas.
There are benefits to using group work for teachers too. When teachers only have a few topics available, dividing students into groups makes it easier to allocate them without being repetitive. Additionally, encouraging students to tackle a problem together makes it easier to approach complex tasks. Finally, using group tasks is an effective way to encourage independence among students. When working in a group they are forced to resolve disputes as individuals rather than relying on the teacher's input.