Offer A Critique Of An Aspect Of Groupwork Theory. An Essential Part Of The Essay Is To Draw And Include Excerpts From Your Learning Journal And Personal Groupwork Experiences.

1997 words - 8 pages

The aspect of groupwork theory that I have chosen to critique is that of Bruce Wayne Tuckman's theory put forward in his short article 'Developmental sequence in small groups' (1965) and amendments (1977). I will first describe what may be understood by the terms group, group work and process. I will then offer an accurate synopsis of Tuckman's theory of group stage development. Next will be a critical analysis of the theory by relating it to practical examples from my own experiences. The first group I have made reference to in my examples is that of a group of young offenders selected by the Probationary Service (PS). This unevenly split mixed sex group of ten offenders from differing ethnic backgrounds was set up to offer a full time personal development programme as a result of their particular needs being identified and accepted by all concerned. It was held once a week for three hours during the evening. The second group I have made reference to in my examples, is that of a group of twenty four adults who were participating in further education at Bradford College (BC). This unevenly mixed aged sex group were participating in a full time Youth and Community Development degree.A difference which may be made between a group and a team is that:'Teams are co-operative groups in that they are called into being to perform a task or tasks that cannot be attempted by an individual'.(Douglas, 1983 p.123)Konopka defines groupwork as a method of social work that is employed in order to:'Help individuals to enhance their social functioning through purposeful group experiences, and to cope more effectively with their personal, group or community problems'.(Konopka, 1963 cited in Brown, 1992 p.8)However, groups may be defined in many ways, in fact providing a fixed definition of a group is highly complex and contestable. But for the purposes of discussing groupwork within the context of this essay it may simplistically be explained as the study and application of the processes and outcomes experienced when a small group comes together. Douglas (2000) states within this definition emphasis should always be put on process. In a group, process:'Involves the changing of something into something else. It is dynamic and it usually produces an outcome which is different from what existed at the point at which it was first applied'.(Douglas, 2000 p.86)In this case changing individuals through generating a situation in which the members can gradually become a successful functioning unit that are related to goal attainments (Gavin, 1974). These changes have been studied by various researchers including Bruce Tuckman who has identified five stages of group development. Brown (1989) writes that Tuckman's theory offers a linear model of group stage development in that one stage follows the next progressively. The first stage, Forming, is when the group first start. Brown (1989) describes this stage as a time when all we have is a collective of individuals, each of...

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