In defense of small groups

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I don’t want my previous post to sound like an indictment of small groups. Small group work has its place. Especially when some of a class knows a topic well, some slightly and some not at all, small groups are extremely useful pedagogically. Depending on the class and student dynamics, knowledgeable students can be used to help academically lower students. Different material can be presented to different groups, fpcusing on individual needs.

Eduhonesty: My problem is not with the idea of grouping. Group work and group projects enhance learning when used correctly. My problem is with the idea that evaluators MUST see group work in motion when they walk in.  My problem is with being criticized for the absence of group work when nobody in the room knows the material I am supposed to be teaching. At times, whole group instruction can be wholly appropriate.

Especially when every student in the class has been thrown into the deep end of the pool and they are all in over their heads, the teacher should decide when and how to group — or whether to group at all.