Question Detail

Should students be allowed to pick their own groups?

Jan 31, 2018 8:34am

As a first-year teacher, I've always been taught that picking groups for students is the best method, but the kids outright rebel at the idea. Are there any research articles or sources that let me know which method is best?

  • English Language Arts
  • 10 / 12
  • New Teachers
  • Student Collaboration


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    • Feb 4, 2018 8:54am

      You know your students. For certain assignments, I let them choose, and for some I do.

      • Feb 21, 2018 10:02am

        You should give them the liberty to choose who they have a group project with; if they prove to you that they aren't adequate enough to work with one another without being constructive, then I would suggest assigned grouping, or individual assignments. Although; your students should be well known around this point in the school year. Your decision would be weary to what your students will be influenced on.

        • Apr 23, 2018 12:33pm

          While I think important to ensure that the students are comfortable in the classroom, I think it's also important to structure the classroom in a way that benefits all students. When students are allowed to pick groups, I've often found that the quieter students get left out and have to either make their own group or insert themselves in another group. This can make such students feel left out and demotivated. When choosing the group, you can ensure that at least some students know each other and that the quieter students don't feel left out

          Another benefit of choosing groups for the students is that you can pair the stronger students with students that a little more mentoring. This allows the stronger students to solidify their understanding by teaching their fellow peers. This also allows the students who need a little more mentoring to learn the material from a different perspective and in a smaller group setting. Hopefully, this allows them to learn the material better.