joyed working with friends in both subjects as they knew what their skills and strengths were.
J Bullock J Schmidt
In Drama in particular, students commented that it was easier to work with people they got on well with as it made them feel more confident. It was also true that in some groups, the level of achievement in Drama is sometimes higher, especially with the girls, due to the fact that they used more challenging techniques and developed their piece to a more polished performance.
In Maths, the relationships between some of the boys meant that they saw the task as a challenge and were motivated to do better than other groups. Natural leadership also emerged within friendship groups with students able to identify strengths of each other. A problem that arose during self-selected group work was that, at times, students found themselves working in a group that was not particularly based on friendship. On such occasions, poor communication took place and there were a rare number of clashes between group members who had perhaps wished to work with others in the class. It is of course true to say that teacher selected groups can also result in groups that do not ‘gel’. However, the knowledge that all groups are working in teacher selected groups might ease the situation slightly as everyone has been treated equally and the groupings are often presented with a clear rationale for the members of the group.