Group work

Unsurprisingly, we are expected to work productively in groups of different sizes on the PGCE course. Our first piece of group work was to put together an A1 poster (to be printed), a supporting A4 sheet of information and a presentation about an educational theorist or cognitive psychologist. As this task was set very early on in the course, we were put into groups of 4-5 by the tutor and given our ‘person of note’ to work on. Our group was first in alphabet, so we got the father of child cognition, Jean Piaget.

Our poster group has worked really well together, making great use of dropbox to share files and work on the final poster together. We haven’t been able to spend much time together physically, as I am limited in the hours I can spend at University, but we’ve worked online using good old reply-all emails and dropbox to keep things moving (I have tried to get them all on twitter, honest!).

I wanted to share the fruits of our labour:

one page summary (PDF in public folder on dropbox)

On the printed poster I added two QR codes, one linked to the drop box file, the other to the slideshare page, so that our colleagues in the group could easily have copies.

In the session we used a quick way to share the information we had gathered across the whole group by using numbered heads. Within our poster group, we numbered ourselves 1-4 (or 5 in our case) and then all the 1’s got together to share their poster and information with the other 7 people from the other groups. This worked really well and we all learned a lot very quickly from listening and presenting the work to each other. The weakness of the approach was that many of the groups had divided the work between them taking only a particular section or theory in isolation (so Piaget split up easily in the four stages of development for each person), which meant that people only felt expert on their little area of the whole poster. This could have been addressed by a quick session in our poster groups consolidating our information before sharing outside the group.



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