My life as a Berserker (cont.).

I was slightly appalled (codeswitch warning: the last phrase is British English) by the examples of allegedly successful teamwork in the first paragraph of the ‘Team Learning Overview’. Both examples are from all male or sex segregated games. Really, people, this has got to go. Educators in 21st century universities have NOTHING positive to learn from American professional sports. Traumatic head injuries anyone? Oh, I forgot, the owners aren’t part of the team.

Hoping for something better I pressed on to the link on reaffirming potentially negative social constructs which led to an Atlantic Monthly article on “Group Projects and the Secretary Effect”. The article starts badly; I suggest avoiding personal anecdotes when thinking about how we could be teaching today. The people we are now teaching did NOT have the same Middle or High School experiences we did, because of the increasing availability of the internet, and above all because of social media. What we need are good empirical studies, and they need to be recent.

The article presents some useful data but is witless in other ways. The results of a 1990s study showing that girls spent too much time beautifying their handwriting has been — shall we say — overtaken by technology? There is useful material from Deborah Tannen, a successful crossover author as well as a serious researcher, and also from single-sex research by Kathy Piechura-Couture. Her name is mis-spelled in the article.

Take away: we need to be aware of the sex roles our students bring to class, and we need to assign and probably rotate roles in group work to prevent stereotyping.

Grade for this material: C+

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: