Group work in science – is it working?

I have always deluded myself thinking that I was giving students plenty of opportunities to work in groups and all the goodness that comes from that because we do experiments. We also do research in groups and look at issues in Science…what a muppet I was!dr-bunsen-honeydew-and-beakerx750 The truth was that opportunities were created through experiments but so many were being squandered in class.

Group work should be a standard way of working in Science. Why? Because that’s what scientists do….it is the Nature of Science, how scientists work, and this was lost for students.

They understand;

  • that it is beneficial to work in a group,
  • they love to work in a group,
  • however, they do not make the link that this is how scientists work in reality.

So we should mirror this in class! I have tried to look at some other ways that I could achieve this, and my second Mindlab assignment looked at some of the ways that I have attempted to bring more group work into my class using technology and the leverage of their cell-phones as a tool. Some things worked well, others need some tweaking, but I am moving in the right direction.

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One thought on “Group work in science – is it working?

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  1. Hi Paul. I enjoyed the critical way you examined what and why you are doing experimental work in the lab. As this has also challenged me to reflect on the values that I want my students to have from these experiences. Like you I see great value in having the students use their cell phones more to enhance their learning and ‘soft’ skills into being more scientific. A great Blog to provoke thought, thanks.

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