ERIC Number: ED320643
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-May-28
Reference Count: N/A
Effective Group Work in Community Colleges.
As college student populations become more diverse and classes become more heterogeneous, instructors have an opportunity to implement leadership models based on the goals of empowerment, cooperation, inclusion, and collaboration. A heterarchical notion of leadership (in which information and authority flow across channels and input from all members of a collective is considered valid and important) can be useful for increasing classroom participation and helping students learn to work in groups. One of the ways to begin building connections across similarities and differences is to provide mechanisms for people to talk to one another. Such opportunities set the stage for students to work together in collaborative and mutually affirming ways. Instructors can serve as key players in this learning process by setting norms that support an open discussion of individual differences. For example, students may be asked to write about the differences they observe in their classmates regarding a specific issue under discussion. By emphasizing the need for open and honest communication, modeling effective listening skills, and providing positive reinforcement as students attempt new behaviors, instructors can help class members shift from superficial interaction with each other to a greater willingness to communicate and examine differences. Interventions aimed at cooperative learning as well as speaking create an atmosphere of shared experience. An important challenge in the process of learning to manage and appreciate differences is to develop some guidelines for generalizing what has been learned to future situations, which increases students' potential for meeting the challenge of diversity in the future. (JMC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, May 26-30, 1990).