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...