new topic, working in groups

Sarah Boomer sarai at
Fri Jun 21 01:23:06 EST 1996

Dear Dianna and the group,

	My only two cents on this one comes from two places:  in all my
job searches - especially for community college level positions -
collaborative learning strategies are absolutely a must.  Coming from
virtually no direct background with such a training method (at a small
liberal arts college and now a big research U), it's definitely a hard
stretch on the resume to call anything I've learned in terms of teaching
style collaborative learning (although improvising team work in the lab
has been a moderately useful substitute skill, when worded correctly).

	Secondly, my mom is a second grade teacher and we were talking
science curricula last year I recall - team based/collaborative problem
solving is basically the whole new approach.  At the time, the teachers
themselves were going through the motions of the exercises - which my mom
thought was hysterical and enlightening. Her synposis was that of 4
teachers in the group, only one took charge and did anything - everyone
else sat there confused, bored, or all of the above (and yes - usually it
was a male faculty who took charge in all their practice sessions).  All
anecdotal - but I do recall her story.  In terms of applying it to second
graders, she says it has been working moderately better than the adult
run-through - although she has to push everyone to involve themselves and
fears that more students will get left behind.

	I would be curious what other educators - particularly those
teaching younger children - think of that.  Science education seems to be
one of those things that always gets criticized for being rote and boring
in school - is collaborative learning working?  When should and shouldn't
it be used?

	Great topic - indeed, a nice change!  Sarah

Sarah Boomer				email:  sarai at
Dept. of Microbiology			work phone:  543-3376
Box 357242				work FAX:  543-3376
University of Washington
Seattle, WA  98195

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