The scientific study of the interactionships within small groups and relationships of group members to one another when carrying specific task like learning in children helping each other.The aim is to discover the negleties,rejects and isolaties.These interactions and relationships are flexibles they aren't permanent. Hence there is need for a change in grouping strategies.Therefore grouping is situational.
According Gwarinda(1993)grouping ,involves diving the class into small groups of six or so pupils often with a group leader.Pupils should be given the chance to be group leaders.
Groups maybe permanent for all subject or only for certain subject.Subdividing a large class group into small manageable groups for effective teaching and learning. Most of teaching is effective by groupwork ,since class sizes are too large for teaching purposes.
Situations Suitable for Grouping
1.When material resources are limited.
2.When there is no enough time to reteach a concept.
3.The task is too heavy for the one person.
4.Development of social values ,for instance cooperation.
5.The methods of demands so ,for example discussion.
6.By nature the learners doesn't allow them to work alone ,like the physically challenged or slow learners.
7.When the teacher is unable to manage individually working learners.
Strategies for Grouping
It should be done before the lessons .Grouping can be done:
Using the name list:
The teacher picks names from the list from a systematic or in a random manner .
Following sitting arrangement:
Pupils count up to five and arrange them ,those who say one form a group and the twos and so on.Then arrange them in that order.
The learner's interest:
All pupils with the same interest are put in the same group ,for example in music pupils who are interested in soprano are put in the same group.
Those who are friendly to each other are put in one group.
Pupils of the same ability are put in the same group that's slow learners grouped together and fast learners on their group.
Boys can be separated from girls or they may be mixed in a proportionate.
Learners of the same personality are put in the same group
Advantages of the Grouping Methods:
There is the sharing of the ideas which makes learners learn in a very short time.
Difficult tasks cannot be handled by a single hand and they may need the movement of furniture.
Material resources can be shared ,learning is made simple.
Social values can be developed , for instance tolerance,selflessness,teamwork ,cooperation etc.
The competition in group activities makes them work harder. Various materials can be used by different groups at the same time.
Talents in the learners can identified ,like leadership qualities can be exploited and it also promotes pupils participation.
Disadvantages of Grouping:
It is time consuming from orgsnisation to the working in group activities.
Learners are frustrated when ideas are not accepted. Mob-psychology may lead to time wasting ,influence may result in wrong tasks being done. These disrupted relations may sour if members are not compatible. and individual talents may be overshadowed,this means one's potential is suppressed in groupwork.
Accountability becomes a problem because no body is to be responsible for any wrong thing done .It may obviously led to poor results. Assessing group tasks can be very unfair.
The method increases the chances of descrimination.Superiority and inferiority may develop and it may be the harbour activities of laziness and bullying.
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