Do we want to develop a group into a team?

Essay by peter123University, Master'sA, August 2007

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"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...