April 5, 2012 Page
v By all accounts, group projects result in more problems than they solve despite their good intentions Meredith Berger Copy Editor
If group projects are meant to teach above average students that they can only rely on themselves and to teach average students that they can get by without doing any work, then the group projects at Benjamin have been successful. However, I do not think that is the true purpose of these projects. In theory, group projects are meant to teach students how to interact with others in a working environment and prepare them for the “real world.” In actuality, this collaborative learning does nothing to prepare us, but rather is incredibly inaccurate and flawed in its execution. In the “real world” the people we’ll work with will be close to our caliber of work ethic, and the division of the workload will not be as disproportionate as our current high school group projects. This disproportion is a result of balancing out the groups- the teacher assigning an A student with a C student in hope that the A student will bring up the C student’s grade or teach the C student how to better manage school work. This method angers the bright students who find themselves struggling to complete all the work assigned to the group because they are afraid to rely on their C student counterpart or because their partner does not even offer to help. This scenario is not always the case though. Some classes do partnering randomly. This method is more accurate and better when put into practice—but that is not to say it is not flawed. If someone is partnered with someone he or she does not really know or someone who lives far away, meeting with that person over the weekends will be tough, especially with students’ busy sport and extracurricular schedules. However, in the “real world”, the project will be our job, and we will be able to spend time together at the workplace to complete our projects. Another problem with random partnering is that the
bulk of the work load will often fall on one person. This is inevitable because all students have different work habits, and it is difficult to align or sync those work habits, especially if someone does not know the person he or she is working with. So if one person likes waiting until the day before to complete the project, and the other person prefers getting it done ahead of time, the work habits will clash and the person who finishes his or her work weeks before the due date will do the majority of the project by him or herself. Lastly, classes exist that allow the students to choose their own partners. Although group projects are really not a necessity, if teachers insist we have them, then this method is always the best. Choosing our partners ensures that we have some knowledge of their ability and intellect and that we have a better chance to rely on them to do work. However, partnerships based on friendships can become awkward, such as when one friend is not doing enough work and the other diligent friend is afraid he or she will anger the lazy friend if confronted. Also, in the event that one of the part-
ners does something wrong or something that the other partner does not like, the other partner might find it uncomfortable to correct the friend because that person does not want to hurt the other’s feelings. Problems and tension arise as a result, and partnerships based on friendships can lead to negative effects on a relationship, such as arguing which can hinder work completion. Overall, group projects are inefficient, poorly executed and prove that working with others is a pain and that it is nearly impossible for everyone to do an equal amount of work; ultimately, it is always better to just do our work on our own. Artwork by Kelly Moran/ Staff Illustrator
Mallory Cotter Guest Column On March 29th we had an opportunity to view Miss Representation, a documentary that exposes how the image of women that is created by mainstream media and American culture puts limits on women and men. The message that our generation is receiving from the media is that a woman’s value and power lies in her youth, beauty, and sexuality rather than her intelligence and capacity as a leader. When I got to the library, I was hoping I was just early and more of my peers would be arriving soon. However, that was not the case, as I was one of about ten students to actually take advantage of the opportunity to view the film. I was extremely disappointed by the lack of student interest, as it’s a problem that exists within the student body at TBS. In many of my classes, I witness girls making
themselves appear dumber than they are in order to fit into the image of the ‘perfect’ woman that the media has created. Way too often I hear sexist jokes being made by the boys in my classes. When the issue is brought up and a girl has something to say on the matter, she is frequently met with “who cares what you think, get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich.” I was also disappointed by the low faculty attendance. Too often these sexist jokes are being made in front of teachers without the teacher intervening in the matter and letting the harassment continue. I believe that everyone at TBS should view Miss Representation. There should be a second screening of the movie at an assembly that administration makes mandatory. It is important to take this issue seriously. I encourage everyone to think critically about how the stereotypes of femininity and masculinity limit girls and boys. Examine the impact that media has on the way we think about ourselves and those around us. Say something nice and encouraging, rather than rip those around you down for not fitting the image media creates. Take the pledge at www.missrepresentation.org: “I pledge to use my voice to spread the message of Miss Representation and challenge the media’s limiting portrayal of women and girls.”
Editorial Board Online at www.PharBlog.com
Founded in 1980 as The Spectator April 5, 2012 The Benjamin School 4875 Grandiflora Road Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418 Contact Info Phone: 561-472-3485 Fax: 561-691-8823 Advisor: Mr. Ken Didsbury email@example.com Editor-in-Chief: Hunter Toro firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright Miss Representation
Diversity club held a viewing of this movie that analyzes the misrepresentation of women in media.
Staff Writers Senior Junior
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