Groups and Classroom Education Essay

Pages: 3 (1193 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Teaching

¶ … Groups and Classroom Education

By the very nature of culture and humanity, humans tend to be group animals -- they thrive in groups, coalesce into groups, indeed, the very process of moving from hunter-gatherer to cities was part of a group behavior. Within this essay we will first look at group normative behavior, intergroup communication and leadership, and finally the way in which group behaviors influence individuation and specific responses to that group's culture. Group norms are defined as a set of internal rulings that are followed by the group members in order to increase the overall efficiency of the group's activity. These norms usually refer to the members' behavior towards themselves, their hierarchical superior and group outsiders, as well as to their approach and attitude towards the work they are expected to perform. Norms determine the way in which groups solve problems, make decisions and do their work. They influence interactions between members and between the group and the facilitator. Norms reflect the group's culture of shared values (Berry, 2007; Characteristics of A Group - Group Composition, 2007).Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Groups and Classroom Education by the Very Assignment

A group's cohesive nature is given by its features' and members' ability of coexisting and completing each other in order to form a balanced and harmonious whole. To achieve these, group leaders needs to take into consideration three major elements: interpersonal relationships, structural relationships and organizational relationships. After having taken into consideration the three relationships, group leaders need to consider two additional forces that influence the unity of the group: the size of the team and the technology used within the group (McClure, 2005). The size of the group has a direct influence upon the cohesion of the group in the meaning that it critically impacts communication between members. The greater the number of members within a group, the harder it is for them to properly send out their messages and insure they are clearly understood. In their path from the transmitter to the receiver, information may be distorted or even lost; thus impairing the function of the group (Witte and Davis, 1996).

Groups and the Classroom- Within the classroom situation, groups are unavoidable, and yet sometimes the very thing an instructor wants. Individuals within classrooms form hierarchies -- these may be based on social groups, age, commonality, or, in many cases, antipathy toward the instructor. Varying degrees of age and maturity also define group structure in the classroom; more defined groups in secondary school, less or more fluid in elementary school, and by college, little or no group activity unless a group of similar majors are taking classes together. These educational groups are often drawn together by common requirements, needs, or even abilities. This allows the instructor a rare opportunity to provide a more positive learning environment and to treat the group as a learning experience and the group dynamics as a part of curriculum development (Resnick, 1951).

Group dynamics can also affect the cognitive learning environment within a classroom; processes can hinder, or help the dynamics between student and teacher, and clearly change expectations within the socio-cultural paradigm of individual classes. For example, the dynamics in a quantitative course are likely to be more structured based on the curriculum; while a qualitative class that engenders discussion and free thinking and expression of ideas may have a more open, inclusive, and active paradigm set (Schmuck, 1975).

For some time, the idea of groups in classrooms has engendered sociological speculation about ways to improve the social climate in the classroom. Teachers realize that groups of children are more than an amalgamation of individuals; and the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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