The Role and Value of Group Work in the Primary Classroom.

“The role and value of group work in the primary classroom”

The role of group work in the primary classroom is very important. It offers opportunities for children to work with other members of the class and share their individual ideas. I think it is important for children to be able to do this as they can listen to other points of view that they perhaps hadn’t thought of. This helps children to be aware of other personal thoughts which results in positive outcomes both socially and cognitively within the shared experience.
Educational theorist, Deutsch suggested group work to create, “positive interdependence” (Deutsch 1949). His statement relates to the actions of one child within a group benefiting the rest of the group where correct answers and positive suggestions are made.
The use of group work in the classroom can help the class teacher to organise the class into mixed or same ability groups. Within either of these two categories children are able to work together and help each other learn. Goodlad and Hirst (1989) researched into ‘Peer Tutoring’ which is where a capable child helps those who have difficulties with a certain subject or term etc. Peer tutoring within group work offers a more relaxed and less pressuring atmosphere. Children are able to talk amongst themselves and not feel embarrassed about asking for help.

“A problem shared is a problem solved.” (Pg.17 Galton, M and Williamson, J; 1992)

This statement is a positive attribute of group work within the classroom. It helps children to work together as a team to be able to produce answers to problems. Each child is able to have their say which is not always possible within whole class teaching. Some children will prefer not to speak in front of the whole class however speaking within groups is a little less daunting. If children are actively involved then they are more likely to retain the information for a longer period of time as they are able to recall the experience they shared...