Jamaican Education : Post Graduate in Education – Theoretical Aspects of teaching and Learning – Semester 2

Dealing with Group Assignments

The Impact/Implications of forced group assignments at the tertiary level on an individual student’s final grade and morale.

That was my suggestion for tonight’s group assignment and without even an objective consideration it was disregarded. The two naysayers started to question, how easy it would be to find viable journal article sources for such a topic. In my mind, I am thinking they must be joking because, we are talking about the internet right?

Our instructor gave us a few tasks to complete for next week’s Theoretical Aspects of teaching and Learning class. It was the end of the night, I am coming off surgery recovery, my wound has been bleeding for two days since going back to work and here I was caught in another stupid, petty, indecisive group situation. I am losing patience and already demotivated before the first month of this course is even complete.

After 15 minutes, no one had any other suggestion, no one proposed even a vague concept they wish to explore. Ego tucked away and trying not to take offense, I threw out a popular and controversial topic. The impact of Vybz Martel music on the Jamaican society. Again, the naysayers said nay. Again they come up with the excuse of not likely to find resources. I said, “Are you kidding me? This topic is widely discussed. We have the likes of Professor Carolyn Cooper and UWI had a reggae department. By this time, I checked out. In the corporate world they say, if you do not have a suggestion or a solution do not critise another.

Seeing as I was getting nowhere, I volunteered to collate the group exercise we completed earlier, pack up mi kociments an go a mi yaad. As a highly motivated and bright student who is working to achieve a high GPA, I have no time to play around. However, it seems I am doomed to suffer from the small-mindedness and indecisive attitude, which follows me in these classes at the VTDI.

Every group encounter solidifies in my mind the negative impact of the prevalence of group work and its impact on grades. This occurrence in the Theoretical Aspects of teaching and Learning class is just another example.

As I am always psychoanalysing people, I tried to ascertain:
– whether these females just wanted things their way,
– why did one react so emotional in denying my suggestions or
– were they threatened by me?

Lord only knows, but as always time will tell.

As it relates to the lesson, it was informative, productive and a vastly different experience from the previous weeks experience. I learned new concepts and approaches to research and I am very grateful for that.

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