Experimenting with Teamwork : The Key to Success
This is the summary of an interview with Christine Jacobs, teacher in the Information and Library Technologies department at John Abbott College. Christine is interested, among other things, in the development of new educational methods and has been experimenting for several years with the teamwork method in class. In her article, Ms. Jacobs starts by outlining her reasons for introducing this educational method, mentioning that teachers must now promote the development of attitudes impossible foster with the traditional method of lecturing. She goes on to specify the competencies targeted by this method as well as the advantages gained by the students. She then proposes a number of key elements required for efficient teamwork: group composition, removing the students from their comfort zone and supporting them. She mentions in passing that this method requires the teacher’s sustained presence outside the class as well as a substantial preparation for: setting up the groups, preparing the tools, following up on student progress as well as the evaluation. Ms. Jacobs also identifies a few constraints, including busy student schedules, and assesses her colleagues’ reactions to this method.
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