Management of group work as a classroom activity
Teachers might use group work as one mode of teaching in the classroom. Group work is often regarded as one of three possible ways of classroom management but is sparsely used as an alternative to whole class instruction or individual work. In spite of previous research indicating several positive outcomes, teachers seem reluctant to use group work as classroom management. One reason asserted is that group work may give rise to classroom activities and processes among students, which might be difficult for the teacher to control. A second possible justification for not using group work may be that teachers lack knowledge of how to manage it and how to organise it in a profitable way. Additionally, could previous negative experiences of using group work in the classroom be a final conceivable explanation?
The overarching purpose of this study is to study group work as classroom management from teachers’ perspective. A more specific aim is to conceptualise some aspects about classroom management and different teachers’ accounts of their behaviours when using group work in education.
The study accounts for data compiled by teachers from three different schools through focus group interviews. The analysis was inspired by Grounded theory.
The results reveal a connection between the teachers’ accounts of their employment of group work as a classroom activity device and their ideas pertaining to group work. One plausible interpretation is that the teachers’ considerations influence how they use group work as a mode of learning. The informants’ statements clearly demonstrate that they primarily expect the students’ to develop their ability to collaborate, rather than their subject knowledge, during group work.