Often, work in the classroom is done alone. This shows the abilities of the individual and demonstrates the ability to work independently and using their own initiative. However, there are also many advantages of teamwork in the classroom. Here is an overview of some of the benefits of teamwork in the classroom.
While working alone demonstrates one set of skills, teamwork uses an entirely different set of skills. Working in a team is an opportunity to learn and develop some of these skills. Some examples of these skills include talking, listening, taking turns, sharing, delegation, following instructions and decision making. These skills can also be transferred outside the classroom to day-to-day and work situations when a person is required to work as part of a team.
Skills for learning
Teamwork also gives pupils the opportunity to learn new skills from their fellow classmates. Skills that individual students would not usually use, or those that they do not possess, can be learned when working as a team with other students. Students will observe the skills of others and help each other out in areas where fellow students are experiencing difficulty. Teamwork provides the ideal situation for skill sharing.
Taking advantage of strengths
Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses. When working alone, a student will excel in some aspects of the work , while in other aspects of their work they may experience problems and limitations in their areas of weakness. When classmates work together as a team, they can draw on each other’s strengths to produce the best work possible.
Similarly, everybody has their own preferred style of learning. This can be kinaesthetic, auditory or visual. When people with different learning styles work together they will each be able to find areas of a topic that play to their strengths.
If students are given the chance to work as a team, they will each be able to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the group. This means that there is likely to be a better collection of ideas than if each student were working independently. Collaborating ideas allows students to bounce their own ideas off each other, make critical analysis of each others ideas and collectively improve on their initial thoughts and ideas on a project.
Good for students with low self esteem
If students are lacking in confidence or have low self esteem, teamwork can be an advantage for them in the classroom. If there is an end of project presentation they will not have to face the class alone, they will be one member of a larger group. Also, it can help build their confidence in making suggestions if working in teams rather than having to suggest ideas to a whole class.