The words that every parent dreads to hear come out of their child’s mouth, “I have a group project to do.” This type of assignment comes along with many scenarios and none of them are good.
Scenario #1: No one wants to work with your child. The teacher assigns him to a group, but no one includes him in any of the group decisions. The day of the presentation, your child shows up with the work that he has done, but it’s not what the group delegated to him (even though they never told him) and he gets an incomplete.
Scenario #2: Your child is the only one who cares about getting a good grade so no one else does a complete job. The day of the presentation, your daughter comes prepared, but part of her grade is subject to how the group works together and since the others did a below par job, her grade is lowered.
Scenario #3: Your child does the work for everyone in the group. Because he knows that he can’t take the chance on what the others will do, he has each of them send their portion of the project ahead of time to him. Then he redoes everyone’s work until it is representative of the quality of work that he would do, himself. Then on the day of the presentation, he hopes the rest of his group will be able to present it intelligently.
Scenario #4: Your child is overruled and the group decides to do the “fun” project instead of the one where they actually learn something and have a chance of completing professionally. The next thing you know, they are all at your house, using your video camera or phone to “film” their project. There is so much clowning around going on that the project goes off track and spirals out of control. The day of the presentation, everyone in the class enjoys the project but they still get a poor grade because they didn’t do the assignment according to its guidelines.
Scenario #5: You hate group projects so much that you contact the teacher and say, “Can my child work by himself?” The teacher says, “But the reason for group projects is to encourage the students to learn to work together.” And you say, “Bull crap, the reason for group projects is to push parents over the edge.”
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy