Facilitating learning in small groups will always be a primary pedagogical form of instruction in my classroom. It is an equitable learning method that addresses status issues directly, making all tasks accessible, while enabling students to benefit from the multiple abilities they bring into the classroom.
While I experienced some of the benefits of group work in my high school days, even in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, it looked little like the group-worthy tasks, championed by my teacher ed program, that serve heterogeneous classrooms so effectively. If there is ever a need for a “poster child” for the archetypal convert to group-worthy instruction, I am it. From my first exposure during orientation week, to my first attempt with my classmate in her Math Analysis placement, my respect for group work has grown immensely, and continues to grow nearly exponentially.
There is not a class, school, district, state, or nation that would do worse implementing group-worthy instruction. I am sold and will forevermore make sure all of my students benefit from experiencing the power of this pedagogical approach.