Teamwork, what is it?
Teamwork implies that each member will contribute his or her individual experience, competencies and social and communication skills. In this way, together with the efforts of others and through consensus, the common goal is achieved.
This group work implies synergy among team members and not only the sum of their individual efforts. This will require from each of them a series of communication skills to be able to listen and understand the point of view of their peers. During group work, each member must value the capabilities of the peers (encultured knowledge) and develop a relationship of trust and empathy among them allowing to discuss any discrepancies that may arise on the way to achieving the objectives. Thus, it can be seen that it is important to work on emotional education and soft skills.
Factors to take into account for Teamwork
When forming a team for its members to carry out group work, it is important that the selection of members does not respond only to academic or random criteria (as is most often the case). In this way, a series of variables must be taken into account to guarantee its correct functioning:
- Composition of the team. A number of members per team should be established that allows coordination and does not favor the emergence of sub-groups within the team. We recommend teams of 4 members.
- Heterogeneity in terms of gender, level of interest, ability to collaborate, individual characteristics, etc.
- Team Roles Theory. It is essential that each team member has a role within the team that he or she feels comfortable with in order to increase his or her confidence and ensure the efficiency of the teamwork. In this way, within the same team there will be people in charge of leading and coordinating the rest of the members, organizing tasks and resources; while others will take on providing those resources to the team, implementing the actions defined, intervening to avoid conflicts, etc...
How to apply Teamwork in Education
Meaningful Challenge-Based Learning (ABR) is a methodology that fosters collaborative learning and teamwork in the classroom. The approach of different activities through this type of learning allows students to work together. In this way, by focusing their knowledge and skills in common, they provide solutions to real problems, connecting education with the reality in which we live.
At BeChallenge we have our own Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) method, in which collaborative learning is an essential foundation. It is a method composed of 7 phases (or 3 phases, if an express challenge is chosen), the second of which is the formation of a team of people who will work together to respond to the different problems that arise. In such way, together they will have to understand the proposed problem, research it in order to know it in depth and contribute and share their previous knowledge on the subject. Once this is done, they will listen to their different points of view regarding the problem and the possible solutions they suggest. They will then develop the solution they deem most appropriate while contributing to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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