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Do We Want To Develop A Group Into A Team?

2119 words - 8 pages

"A group is defined as two or more individuals interacting and independent, who come together to achieve particular objectives" Robbins (2000)A team is defined as "a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and an approach for which they themselves are accountable"Dransfield (1994)Most members of staff in a large educational institution, like a secondary or upper school, belong to two 'areas', pastoral and department/subject (Fleming, 2000). With reference to the two quotes above, a group fits more easily into the pastoral area, where members of staff from different departments come together to achieve particular objectives. The group will work towards particular whole school objectives and year group specific objectives, through independent individuals coming together. If this were to be characterised as a group, they can achieve particular objectives through interactions, but working independently. Due to the time constraints facing teachers and schools, especially with work force reform and set policy on contact time and meeting time, this may be an appropriate way to work. Many year groups do not have the time to develop into a team, but if the objectives are evident and the leadership is clear, this does not seem to be a negative way of working.Departments can also be independent individuals but they need to have complementary skills, which will be apparent in most departments. To support this further, research suggests that higher levels of performance among teams who share similar traits or characteristics (Bettenhausen, 1991). The performance goals and the common purpose in secondary/upper is generally exam results driven which as a department, everyone is accountable for and as a team, need to achieve. Additionally the time which many departments physically do get to spend together, not just for meetings, but teaching within the same physical space and sharing work space (although this is not true in every school) can all contribute to the team label.The difference between the two entities seems to be the individuals achieving particular objectives in the group and the people with complimentary skills committed and accountable for performance goals in the team. It could be reasonably argued that within an educational context that pastoral could be a group and departments could be teams. This is also shown in how schools choose to phrase 'year teams' or 'year groups' and the reasoning behind the phrasing. Whether this is due to not considering the meanings, aspiring to being a team, or the work that school puts into developing year 'teams'.The 'fogginess' of the above quotes comes in when primary/lower/middle schools are considered in the same context. The idea of a group pastorally can still hold true, however due to the nature of several subjects being taught by one class teacher, the idea of 'team' is more complex and possibly more difficult to embrace. Within the lower...

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