Phi Beta Cons

Group Learning: Good Pedagogical Method or a Waste of Time?

In today’s Pope Center piece, Professor Bruce Gans argues that when college professors (especially in the humanities) decide to break the class into small groups and have them work on something collaboratively, they’re almost always wasting time. Students usually learn little and the lazier ones take advantage of the more diligent ones. Sadly, even in college it is now widely assumed that group work is wonderful and should be encouraged.

Professor Gans’ piece dovetails with Troy Camplin’s recent one, in which he noted how useless it is for composition students to critique each others’ writing. Profs should teach and grade, not sit around while the blind lead the blind.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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