I really enjoyed this article from Sunday’s New York Times for several reasons. I’m one of those people with strong opinions about group projects in school: I hate them. Whether I took the reins or someone else flaked and I was forced to take them, when I was in school, I was frequently the kid who ended up doing the bulk of group work myself, and I consequently felt either stifled by or resentful of my team members. While that probably just speaks to my own impatience, I don’t think I’m alone in finding group work a non-ideal model for tackling projects.
I like this article because it gives a good view of both sides: it describes the situations in which group work can be generative and invigorating–and it cautions against the situations in which it isn’t productive. These are interesting ideas worth considering, I think, both in designing classroom situations and in responding to the group work situations we sometimes encounter.