Whenever I am in a class and I hear the teacher say, “OK, everyone we are going to do some group work” I almost want to scream because I strongly dislike group work. Many schools make their students do at least one group project in order to build life skills, but because of my experiences I believe that students should not make their students participate in group activities.
There are many reasons on why I am strongly against the concept of group work, one of these reason is the different personalities of group members, there can be the good ones, like the good leader, or the one who always wants to do the hardest part, but it is the idea of the bad ones, like micromanagers and the one who does not do his or her part and leaves the group to pick up the slack. Another way that group work is no longer fun for me is the grading scale and how everybody gets the same grade, no matter how much work they do, if any.
Finally, whenever I am put into a group the work almost never gets done on time because the other members are either socializing or arguing. The idea of group work terrifies me because every time I got put into a group, I have always had to deal with one of those students who takes the fun out of working in a group. Out of all the personality types when it comes to group work, there are three that when they get put into my group, I know that the work will never get done.
One of these personalities is the micromanager, the one who thinks their way is the only right way, and everything has to be perfect. These members are obsessed with perfection, and even if the tiniest thing goes wrong, they will go completely insane and take over whatever that person was doing, and eventually they take over everything, making it look like they are the only one doing any work. Another reason that micromanagers ruin the group is that when the person turns in the work they did for the group, and fails, the whole group fails, although the micromanager did all the work.
The next member of the group that pushes my buttons is the forgetful person who either forgets to do their part or forgets the materials needed for that day. This individual ends up slowing the entire group down because they either lose a day because the group does not have the right materials needed for that day or they have to do the work for the student who forgot to do his or her part. If the group does not have the time to get the forgeter’s work done in time for the due date, the entire group fails because the one member did not do their part.
The final personality trait that makes me despise group work is the one who just decides not to do any work and leaves the group to pick up his or her slack. These people disgust me, they believe that just because that they were put into a group, they do not have to do any work. When the group fails because he or she did not do anything, they get mad at the group, but when the group passes, they get an A without doing any work.
Even though these types of students make me love individualized work, another factor in group work that makes it no longer fun, and that is the way the teacher grades the assignments. The concept of everyone getting the same grade on a project is another reason why I hate group work, whether it be everyone passing or failing, no matter how much work each individual in the group does, if any. No matter how much work each member of the group does, whether it be a ten page essay or a little art project, everyone gets the same grade.
I believe that group members should only be graded on the part of the project that they do. One reason that this grading scale is terrible goes back to the idea of micromanagers and slackers. Whenever one person in the group decides to do every part of the project and ends up doing horrible on one of the parts, the entire group fails, not just the person who did all the work. Plus, these micromanagers might make group members do something they are not comfortable doing, again resulting in a failing grade.
Similarly, if one person does no work, and the rest of the group does their parts perfectly, the group still fails. Another reason that group work grading is taking the fun out of group work is opposite of what I had mentioned before. The fact that the slacker can still do absolutely nothing to help with the project, and still get an A because the rest of the group did his work for him. I believe that the group should have gotten the grade since they did the work, and the slacker should fail because they did nothing.
Finally the fact that no matter what section of the project each group member completes, they are all graded on the same scale. One student could write an essay, one could draw pictures connected to the story, and the other could write a script to reenact a part of the story. Each of these members of the group would be put on the same grade sheet and be graded as a whole and not individuals. Both of the previously stated facts are huge reasons on why I hate group work, the main reason why I hate group work is the fact that almost no work gets done because the group is either socializing or arguing.
No matter if the teacher lets the students choose their own groups, or makes up the groups themselves production of the work will usually be stalled because of either socialization between friends or arguments between enemies. Whenever the teacher lets the children pair up with whoever they want, the students usually end up with their friends. Whenever groups are made up of friends, they end to socialize more instead of getting any work done. These groups end up wasting their time on talking, and end up rushing at the last minute to get the assignment done.
Also, friend groups tend to distract other groups because they are constantly talking and laughing, causing the other groups to loose focus. Similarly, whenever the teacher chooses the groups, students will always have one member that they do not get along with, and instead of socializing the group will constantly be arguing. Whenever the group is arguing it can take forever to reach a solution that will have everyone in the groups ideas, but by the time the compromise is made, the project is due.
Just like the socializing, the arguing can also affect the other groups because all of the yelling can distract other groups from their projects. Many may say that group work is fun and easier to get done because you have more people with all different skill sets. I strongly disagree, because many students find it easier to work individually and group work makes those students, like myself, who are A-driven, stressed out that the project will not get done on time or not done correctly, making that time the project is being completed a nightmare.
All things considered, I believe that working in groups is not a productive idea because the group members can affect the group by either being to bossy, like a micromanager, or lazy, like the slacker. The grading scale is unfair because everyone gets the same grade, whether one person did all the work and failed, or one person did not do anything, and they still pass. Finally, the idea of either socializing or arguing instead of working stalls the completion of the project, leading to a rushed final made on the last day.
If one agrees with me in saying that they hate group work, talk to teachers, principals, and even the school board and tell them that they should not force students in group work. Just think, did geniuses like Einstein, Edison, and Walt Disney even have to work in a group, no, and look what they have accomplished, these people have gone down in history as some of the smartest people ever, and they never had to deal with the hassle of group work.