Who invented the airplane? - The Wright Brothers.
Who invented the bulb? - Thomas Alva Edison.
And the steam engine? - James Watt.
The list goes on
If we look at the past, passionate and the somewhat -eccentric people spearheaded inventions and discoveries. They worked unaided without any fringes, in their labs; rolling out their contraptions and innovations. Ultimately they did get the deserving recognition.
On the contrary, if we ask you, who invented the USB, the Intel i7 processor or the high-end laptop? I wonder what your answer would be! What we understand is, all the latest inventions and achievements are not credited to any particular individual; though we do hear of some rare cases. Even so, that individual may either be funded or is a part of a corporate or some company.
Why are we discussing this now? There is an immensely valid reason for this. While the world is working in to bring forth various discoveries and inventions, our students who are at the grass root level are guided to excel as individual performers.
The phrase 'work as a team 'is a famous saying used in all walks of life. As a corporate head or an employee of a company, you would have used it in various contexts. On the other hand, If you are an entrepreneur, you would have been urging your employees to 'work as a team.'
There is a famous quote which says, 'if you need to run faster, you run alone but if you need to run longer, run together.' This is the motto of the current corporates today. Most, in fact, all the corporates work as a team. Technically speaking they do so because an individual cannot possess all the human skills necessary to achieve the objectives. There are several departments, as an HR team, Finance team, could be a marketing team, software coding team, the list can go on. Collaboration brings in variety, finesse and a level of comfort. Unity is why teams exist, and that's how teams work.
Instead of relying on an individual who has the limited know-how, the task could be divided amongst a team of experts who will deliver their part well. Then the group collates the assignment in hand and presents it. Such is the scene in the corporate world today.
Hence wouldn't it be wise to take this into the education system? After being a math teacher for more than a decade and running a school for almost five years, I can clearly point out that we are expecting an individual child in the system to be good in everything. It is so very unlikely for the future of the child.
Once while talking to one of my students about the distinctions and advantages of teamwork I encountered a question from him.
'why aren't these followed during exams?'
Humorous, isn't it? For ages, we adults and teachers, have been putting the children down and maintaining the examination halls with orthodox and strict rigidness. So they do not talk to each other, and they print all their knowledge about the content of paper. There is no room for discussion or collaboration. This individualistic participation is sinful to many.
I am not advocating to have team discussions during exams. If it is authorized, then we might encourage it too. But nevertheless, now, can our classrooms promote collaborative learning environment? Can we have teamwork in all possible activities? Can we evaluate children in groups? At the end of the day a child need not be assessed in all the aspects, but maybe all of them together could be evaluated in one aspect. Isn't this interesting - The very aspect of appraising children in teams? Comprehensive evaluation helps them in understanding the group dynamics at an early age.
On our Facebook page 'PA1' you will find several videos where I have modeled kinesthetic mathematics. In every act, we ensure that children work in teams. The future of children will depend on how good a team player he/ she is. There are no specific inventions or discoveries and there are no corporates which are running with the efforts of only an individual. Even the best of the best leader needs a team.
Having said all this - What can you do as a parent? As a teacher or an educator? "Promote children to work in groups." You might be a little skeptical about the process of evaluations. There might be a lot of pros and cons, no doubt. An idea of this nature may sound like a revolution, not a small trial. Let us know we are here to offer our services if you need to put things together. We must implement this, by making sure children are not working alone, but contributing to a team.
There are high chances that a child is competent as an individual performer, but may not have the skills in partners dynamics. This results in the failure to work as team player. We are looking forward to seeing school children working as a team.
Advantages of teamwork:
Potential exists for greater workforce flexibility with cross-training.
Team members have the opportunity to learn from each other.
When a team works well collectively as a oneness, they can fulfill more than the
individual fragments can do alone.
Teamwork creates enormous quality outcomes that are more efficient, thoughtful, and
practical, as well as faster.
Fosters Creativity and Learning.
Builds trust. Relying on peers builds trust, and teamwork establishes strong relationships
Promotes a wider sense of ownership. Team projects support representatives to feel
satisfied with their participation
Teaches conflict resolution skills. Conflicts inevitably happen when you put together a
group of unique people.
Interdependent workflow can be enhanced.
Communication and information exchange will be useful.