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The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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Is group work beneficial to our education?


When teachers assign groups and partners to complete assignments, this group effort has many positive benefits for students. It can help student’s grades, the environment of the classroom and teaches students lessons for the future. 

After high school, a lot of students will go on to have a job of some sort. When you’re a part of a company, you are forced to work with others sometimes without your consent. It’s a must in a workplace, no matter how hard you try any job will incorporate group work. Actually, Zippia says 50 percent of U.S. workers jobs are reliant on group efforts. So, when you practice working with others (that maybe you don’t particularly like being around) in school, then you will learn how to handle and collaborate with people to get the job done well. 

 It’s easy when doing group work to have all the responsibility fall on one person to get the work done. No one appreciates when this happens, which makes students scared when a teacher announces an assignment will be group work. The idea is though, if all the responsibility has fallen on one person quite frequently, then they should speak up for themselves so it doesn’t happen again. If learning to speak up is part of the lessons one learns in group work then that’s just an added bonus to even more skills. Especially because Zippia also says that 86 percent  of employees with leadership positions claim that when something goes wrong in the workplace it’s because of the absence of group collaboration. 

Not to mention it’s also good for people socially. Group work will benefit introverts and extroverts alike. Introverts can benefit from this because they can have experience working with others so they are more prepared for the future. On the other hand, extroverts will have a more enjoyable time doing the work, hopefully producing a better grade and understanding. Also, some students simply just work better with other people. Students can use this opportunity to get info and ideas from each other, which deepens each other’s understanding of the subject. So then in hopes of producing a better grade. 

Group work is also a positive thing for students who are struggling in a particular class. Working together hopefully with a student who knows what they are doing in the class could help the other, who maybe needs help, understand the topics. With all this group work, students could even become friends with their classmates quicker so then they have someone they can talk to and trust. Making friends in class is always very important and makes the class far more enjoyable. When a student has friends in a class then they can look forward to laughing and talking to their new found friend from group work. A question that arises from group work is, “Is it really group work if students are graded individually?” If part of the assignment of the tasks of the assignment is to work together with peers, then yes it’s still group work even if the grade is individual. Also, if one student doesn’t participate as much as the rest, the result is getting graded down for it and then they can learn a lesson to be a more collaborative worker. 



Group work is pure chaos. Why would you willingly agree to doing all the work for your other groupmates? And on the rare occasion you’re in a group of all grade A students, why would you prefer getting pushed around and bossed around by kids who didn’t even read the assignment? Individual work is superior to group work. Although it lacks the social aspect of working in a group, individual work is the most efficient way to get work done, and for it to be original and show personal learning and understanding. Group work can have tons of issues: some are over-achievers, some don’t cooperate, some don’t do the work and some do all of the work. In the end, usually everyone ends up getting the same grade and reflection. On that note, it also puts all the stress on the person who is working the hardest to produce their best work, and if someone isn’t putting an efficient effort into it, the whole group’s grade could be affected. 

That’s just the surface of why group work is a waste of time. Maybe it was beneficial when we had reading circles in first grade, but now everyone is just trying to survive high school and survive their classes. Time is precious, and group work is time and effort consuming. I’m not talking about the group work that you do during class and isn’t for a grade, I’m talking about those big, time and grade consuming projects. There is an increase in distractions, you don’t have full control over your work and in many cases it is less efficient than individual work. To add on, some group projects require you to be with those assigned people to do the work. For example, with individual work, I can grind it out in one night with minimal stress. With group work, I have to plan ahead, rush during class and sometimes meet outside of school, which is time and energy that I don’t always have. 

Group work is a gamble. Sometimes the teacher pairs you, and sometimes you get to choose, but either way it’s usually a lose-lose situation. You either get paired with random people in your class whose name you still don’t know, who could either be smart and demanding, unwilling to work and unphased, or, if you’re lucky enough, smart and willing to work with you. Either way, if you don’t finish in class, and if you happen to not get along and have to finish the project outside of school, it’s going to be a really awkward two hour group work session. 

Or, you get paired with your friends, which is also a 50/50 because you can either work super well together and get everything done fast, or you can goof off and end up getting nothing done. When you end up thinking about all the possibilities of how group work can go, individual work would seem the way to go. Group work also takes away from the authenticity and individuality of student’s work. Too many voices on what could be a simple topic or assignment can water down each person’s individual voice, which is important when evaluating what a student is actually learning. 

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