Groupwork: form, storm, norm, perform

stock-photo-3d-group-of-school-kids-isol-894016Groupwork is an instructional strategy that many may have a love/hate relationship with…

This video describes a theory of group development that has always resonated with me:

When I went to Douglas College (where I learned about this theory in a communications class), I was part of a cohort, so the two-year program was essentially one long group work experience. We felt extremely lucky because we all agreed that we moved immediately past the storm stage with hardly a bump, and moved right into norm, and shortly after that, into perform. We were so lovey dovey in our group bonding that when we had a class with a person from outside our program, he threw his hands up in the air one day and said, “You guys are WAY too nice to each other!”

However, during the program we did TONS of small group work projects, and I recall one experience that was extremely uncomfortable because the group members clashed so badly we never did move past the storm stage. It was a constant struggle of different working approaches, cultural backgrounds, and communication styles and every meeting was extremely painful. I breathed a sigh of relief when that project was over and the group dissolved.

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